Though we’re mid-way through January, it’s not too late to make some resolutions – the new year is a great time to make healthy changes. It’s easy to make resolutions, but not so easy to keep them – so here are a few simple tips and ideas to keep you on track!
Use your resolutions to set realistic goals – getting the whole family to run the Dublin marathon is unrealistic and unnecessary, whereas getting out for a regular family walk is probably more achievable.
It’s a good idea to write your resolutions down, ideally in a diary, and check regularly to see if you have been keeping your resolutions.
Be the Boss!
If you have young children, don’t be afraid to be the boss – you can make resolutions for the whole family. If you think the kids spend too long in the bedroom watching telly, resolve to get rid of their TV. They’ll soon get over the trauma, and reducing the amount of TV they watch will certainly benefit their health!
Resolve to eat together as a family as often as you can – if it’s really impossible for you to all eat together once a day, try to sit down and eat as a family at least once per week. Don’t eat in front of the TV, as this typically leads to overeating.
Resolve to get the whole family moving in 2012. Encouraging children to be active helps them to burn off excess energy and will leave them (and you!) in a better mood. Regular exercise helps children to avoid illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and certain cancers, reduces stress and can even help children to do well at school. Why not resolve to go for a regular family walk? You’ll be healthier for it and you’ll be helping your kids to develop healthy habits.
Ideally, children should be active for one hour every day. That may seem like a lot but it can be split into smaller chunks – so 20 minutes spent walking to and from school counts towards the daily total.
Resolve to encourage your children to play regularly. Play, especially outdoor play, is probably the most effective way of ensuring that children get enough physical activity. It’s also fun and your children will thank you for it.
Control Your Food Environment
Take charge of your home environment in 2012, so that eating healthily becomes easier. Make it simple for your kids to make healthy choices, and restrict unhealthy alternatives. If your kids feel peckish, it should be easy for them to get hold of an apple or a banana – whereas biscuits and crisps should be much harder to access. You have loads of power in this regard, since you control the family food environment. If you don’t have sweets and fizzy drinks in the house, your family will eat less of these unhealthy foods. Start a well-stocked fruit bowl, and encourage the whole family to start snacking on fruit in 2012.
Best of luck with your new year’s resolutions!
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