Health & Fitness

Encourage a healthy lifestyle with your children at an early age. Eating right and exercising when learned at a younger age can become habitual rather than a chore or nuisance.

Get your children involved early on. Go for walks or short trail hikes with them when they’re young. They’ll begin to see that they’re learning things from their environment as well as exercising. Mom, buy your child a bike. You don’t have to buy a new one since they’ll only be so small for so long, but instead look for them at garage sales or search for someone online trying to get rid of them. To them, riding a bike can be “playing” rather than exercising. Once they get older, get them into sports. Playing sports is fun, and teaches your child teamwork and good sportsmanship and gets them out and active. They’ll be so excited and make new friends. In the summer, take them to the pool. All that splashing around burns calories but the kids don’t have to realize that.

As far as eating right, involve your child in making simple items such as making sandwiches. Make them fun by cutting them into fun shapes. Minimize fast food but if you are in a rush, choose healthier options and get the apple slices rather than the fries. As they start to get older, teaching them the importance of eating a well balanced diet. No frozen pizzas or spaghetti all the time. Instead, let them help you with food preparation and it becomes a set aside family time that everyone will look forward to.

When parenting, if you start this at a young age, you’ll be able to continue it through while they’re growing up. You can still take time to do family activities and dinners. They become accustomed to this type of lifestyle and it becomes a norm. And with the rest of the family taking part, it is healthy for the family too, both physically and emotionally. Maintain this lifestyle and when they become adults, they will too.

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