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How to Engage Your Family in Your Healthy Lifestyle Habits Journey

Updated: Aug 16

Everyone knows that it is not easy to make significant changes in your life. Change is tough, especially when it comes to habits.

A family running with their dog to keep a healthy lifestyle habit

Has any of your family members ever tried to join you in healthier lifestyle habits and behaviors? I bet so. But did you lose the will to continue after some time because no one cares or your family member did lose interest and focus? I guess so. Motivation is an essential part of healthy lifestyle habits. Without it, we don't get anywhere, and without goals, we don't achieve anything.


Here are several ways to keep your family committed and engaged.


 

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Engaging your family in your healthy lifestyle habits


1. Be a Good Role Model


Having a family is not easy. It's a commitment that lasts a lifetime. People have to sacrifice certain things to make their families happy and healthy.


As parents, we always want to keep our kids safe from any harm that might come their way. We want them to grow up healthy so they can live an active life. We also want them to be smart and successful in life.


The best way for us to do this is by setting good examples for them. Being a role model is one of the most effective ways for us as parents to educate our children about how important it is for them to live healthy lifestyles and follow good habits.


A good idea to show an example is by eating together as a family. This will help you and your family get used to having healthy meals together and it will also improve communication between everyone. It’s important to make sure everyone has a say in what goes on their plate, so make sure that everyone has their plate or bowl when doing this. If you want them to eat something healthier, like an apple or some carrot sticks instead of chips, tell them why they need it and how it will help them in the long run.


A family having a healthy dinner together to set an example of role models of a healthy lifestyle

Also, encourage others in the family who are already following these habits. When you see someone else doing something right — like taking the stairs instead of an elevator or eating more fruits and vegetables — tell them how proud you are of their efforts! Praise goes a long way when it comes to encouraging others to adopt positive habits.


2. Spend Time Together


The first step to engaging your family in healthy lifestyle habits is ensuring you’re all on the same page.


Living healthy isn’t just about the food – it’s about making time for each other, too. Your family might find it easier to form healthy habits if they work together as a team. You can encourage this by making dinner a fun event, baking vegan cookies, setting aside time to exercise together, or finding ways to make the house a healthier place to live.


A family baking together to promote a healthy lifestyle

For example, if you want your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, try making a game out of it, like having them guess how many carrots are in their soup or how many bananas are in their smoothie. Have them count up the number of strawberries that went into their cereal bowl and write down their guesses on a piece of paper before breakfast every morning for a week or two. When they see how much fruit there is, they may be more willing to try different varieties and add them into their diet more often.


3. Encourage Physical Activity


If you want your family to engage in physical activity, you have to model the behavior yourself. So, if you want your family members to be active, be active!


Start by making small changes in your daily routine and gradually add on more steps. You can start by walking the dog or taking a walk after dinner.


Set an example for the rest of the family by being active together. Invite them to walk, and have fun playing with them instead of watching TV or sitting around doing nothing.



If possible, plan a family outing every week, such as visiting parks or playgrounds where they can play and move around. If that is not possible, try going outside as much as possible and encourage them to walk around the neighborhood with you.


Encourage your children to get involved in sports activities like soccer, basketball, or baseball. It will help them stay fit while having fun at the same time!


If they do not have any interest in sports activities yet but would rather just sit at home all day long, playing computer games instead of getting some exercise; try finding ways for them to be active indoors, like dancing around their living room while singing along to their favorite songs or playing tag with them.


4. Talk About Food


Make sure your family knows how important it is to eat healthy foods. Tell them how much better they'll feel when they do it consistently, and how much easier it will be for them to live a happy life if they make these changes now instead of later in life when their bodies are already set in their ways.


You can also share with them some benefits of eating healthier foods, such as how it will benefit their long-term health or how it can help reduce cancer risk. This way, they will be more likely to support your efforts toward better health. If you incline toward a vegetarian diet with your family, read Guide for a Healthy Plant-Based Diet, to know about the different vegetarian diets and how to start and not quit.


Explain to them why they shouldn’t eat junk food. Tell them that when you're hungry, junk food tastes good because it is loaded with fat and sugar — two ingredients that make food taste good. But these ingredients also cause harm to your body over time, including weight gain and diabetes. So, if junk food tastes good now but makes you feel bad later, why would any reasonable person choose it?


Teach them about reading food labels. Make sure they know what's in their food by checking labels and asking questions at home or at the grocery store. When going to do grocery shopping, compare the contents of healthy food with unhealthy options.

Talk about portions and calories. Show them to use a food scale so they get used to serving what they need, not what they want. You can even get the nutritional facts for your food with this food scale (click on the image for more information).



Read about getting food rich in vitamins. For example, read together 13 Vitamins that Your Body Needs. It will explain the importance of the 13 essential vitamins and where to get them from.


Ask your family members for ideas to prepare a meal plan for the week. Use cookbooks to get ideas for healthy recipes and vary your repertoire. Or create a new healthy recipe with your kids. You can even create your family recipe book. Use your imagination!


FamilyRecipe book cover

5. Communicate in a Positive Way


You can't expect your family to just magically follow your lead. They have their own lives, their interests, and needs, and they're not going to change for you.


But that doesn't mean you can't inspire them to live healthier lifestyles. You just need to be patient, persistent, and willing to work with them on it.


So, figure out how they think about healthy habits. Do they see them as a necessary sacrifice? Or do they view them as an opportunity for fun and adventure? If your family members are like most people, it's probably a little bit of both — which means you can find ways to help them see the benefits of living healthier lifestyles while still respecting their current priorities.


Communicate in a positive way, not in a negative way, or with guilt. You need to find ways to show them how this change will benefit everyone. For example, maybe you want everyone to eat more vegetables at dinner, so you could say something like "I've been eating so much more vegetables lately and I feel so much better!" or "I've been making sure we are all eating well at dinner because I know Mom always wants us all to try new healthy things." You don't want them thinking this is just something they have to do because you said so — they need to understand why it's important for everyone involved!


Another way is to challenge them. There are many challenges that you can start together as a family. Start a water challenge for 30 days to encourage them to drink more water. You can motivate them by doing a workout challenge. Or, if you have someone who drinks alcohol or smoke, why not challenge them with a No drink challenge or No smoking challenge? Get this 75 Soft Challenge and print as many copies as you want for yourself and your family.

75 Soft Challenge sheets


Many people just need a push to start doing something. Be the one who does so. Another way to motivate your family is by giving them a motivational quote every morning, to memorize and remember throughout the day, especially when they feel tempted to quit. By the end of the day, they will feel much better when they look at their achievements. Get your motivational e-book to get inspiredeveryday! (click on the image for more details).


The cover of the e-book titled 31 Inspiring daily quotes to help you reach your healthy lifestyle goals by Dr. W. Santiago

And if they fail off the wagon, don’t be hard. Help them stand and start over.


6. Set Up and Stick to Family Rules


This can be a challenge because it means changing how you've been doing things in the past. But once everyone agrees on the new rules, they'll be easier to follow and everyone will benefit from them. For example, instead of letting kids eat whatever they want whenever they want, create a schedule for meals and snacks — with healthy foods at each meal — and stick to it as much as possible.


Another idea is to create a "family activity night” once a week where everyone agrees on something fun to do, like bowling, skating, or playing tag outside! Even if it's just walking around the block together, this will help ensure everyone gets enough exercise every day.


Also, you can set a “No screens” rule after dinner until homework is done and chores are complete (or vice versa). This rule keeps everyone focused on what's important and helps enforce healthy habits such as reading before bedtime instead of playing video games until midnight!


Keep track of progress in written form or on social media so others can see what you're doing and feel motivated to follow your example with their families. Click the image to check this daily habit tracker.


Printable Daily Habit Tracker preview

In conclusion, if you want your family to get involved in your healthy lifestyle habits journey, set the example by role-modeling with actions. Invite your family to your workouts. Gather around the table to enjoy healthy meals. Tell them how following a healthy lifestyle has changed you for the better. Be creative, and make being healthy a fun thing for your family. Go on adventures. Take your exercise routine outdoors by going on bike rides, hikes, or exploring the town. Turn chores into a workout! There are so many ways to encourage your family to engage in your healthy lifestyle habits journey. It's much easier to follow a healthy lifestyle when we have our loved ones supporting us!


Now tell me, what do you do to engage your family on your journey to a healthy lifestyle?


And don’t forget to come back for the next topic.

 

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