For the first time while vacationing it wasn’t just me getting up and exercising before I started my day. My mom, dad, sister and future brother in law met faithfully each day at 8AM to workout before breakfast. Before, the family would give me their blessings as they rolled over in bed to catch and extra hour of sleep. I am not sure what made the difference, but whatever it was, I was glad that it happened. I also noticed after each workout, they followed it up with a healthy breakfast. Instead of falling for traditional trappings of a breakfast buffet (bacon, French toast, sweet pastries) the family opted for omelets, fruit and freshly made smoothies. It didn’t just stop at breakfast, the lunches and dinners were healthy too. They opted for wraps instead of white bread, grilled instead of fried, water instead of sodas It seemed like after years of patience and positive encouragement, it was finally paying off. This reaffirmed the belief that a family that exercises together, has a greater success rate of adopting healthy lifestyles. Why? One big reason is accountability, otherwise known as positive peer pressure. Exercising together prevents boredom and provides encouragement. It is much easier to get up and workout when you know someone is looking forward to you being there.
Studies have shown that engaging in physical activity is a great way for families to have fun together. It increases the bond between family members as well as a healthy form of competition. For instance, family members can compete to see who can maintain a fast speed on the elliptical machine for the longest period of time or who can make through an entire spin class without quitting first. On vacation or at home, go to a park, gym, or swimming pool and have fun together engaging in physical activity or find team activities or challenges to promote working together or healthy activities. Enroll the family in run/walks or participate in community family fun days. As a family, cook and plan meals together. The parents and children should eat the same thing, so make sure it is something everyone will enjoy.
I truly believe that the obesity epidemic should be fought one family at a time. I am very proud of my family and I am excited to see they are placing a higher priority on exercising in their lives. Get moving!
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