When your entire family is working together towards a common goal, no matter what it is, your chance of success improves dramatically. The old joke asks, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is, “One bite at a time.” When your family is also focused on helping you eat the elephant, a seemingly impossible task gets accomplished in a much shorter time.
While eating an elephant is certainly an unenviable and impossible sounding chore, it is often times just as difficult for a family in today’s society to remain active and to stay fit and keep healthy. Processed and fast foods are everywhere, teens and adults are more sedentary than at any other time in humankind’s history, and mobile Internet technology has everyone’s face stuck in a smartphone or PC display.
That is why it is more important than ever to take certain proven steps towards becoming a more physically fit family. And actually, in many ways, the family dynamic can make physical fitness and better health easier to achieve as a team than it is on the individual level. Children are already conditioned to receiving direction from their parents, and parents are consistently and consciously striving to set the best example. This creates some easy-to-follow steps towards family physical fitness which will increase your overall chance of success.
Assign a Family Fitness Coach
All teams need a coach or manager who leads the actions of the group. Someone in your family needs to direct the physical fitness activities of your “team”. This works most effectively when it is mom or dad doing the coaching. Remember that the coach should set realistic but challenging goals. The family fitness coach should hand out schedules; provide input and motivation, and then follow-up on performances.
Schedule Family Fitness Outings
The different ages and fitness levels of your family members will dictate that not everyone can lift the same weight, run the same distance or swim the same length. However, team activities like hiking are excellent for overall body health, hiking is doable by everyone, and it also allows the family to bond. Schedule family fitness outings which get you and your children away from computers and fast food, and you will find your family growing closer together while also becoming more physically fit.
Incorporate Nutrition as Well as Exercise
It is well known that exercise and nutrition form the two most important components for physical fitness and health. Exercise is great, and as little as 30 minutes per day can deliver a significant health benefit. But correct diet and nutrition is important as well, meaning more fruits and vegetables, less fried and fast foods, more preparing your own meals and enjoying them as a family, and less artificial drinks and sodas.
Hold an Accountability and Rewards Night
To help achieve your family’s physical fitness goals, schedule one night a week where all members of the family enjoy a “rewards meal”, openly discuss their successes and failures of the previous week, and motivate each other for the week to come.
Especially with the children in a family, hard work delivering an enjoyable reward like pizza night and positive affirmations from other family members will go a long way to guaranteeing compliance in future fitness activities.
These are just a few of the simple and inexpensive ways even the busiest family can create a physical fitness attitude that is looked upon positively by all family members.
Try to schedule exercising and workouts at the same time and on the same days whenever you can, to instill a sense of order and repetition. Always reward yourself, your spouse and your children with positive input when it is earned, remember that everyone falls and stumbles from time to time, and the chance of success for your family’s physical fitness plans will improve dramatically.