MHLbannersmallHow about National Family Fit Lifestyle Month?

Given the wide range of important health issues, every month on the healthcare
calendar spotlights multiple causes and January is no exception, featuring both National Healthy Weight Month (see the article in this issue of MHL on determining your healthy weight range) and National Family Fit Lifestyle Month.

fit togetherAs the name tells us, Family Fit Lifestyle Month is designed to raise our consciousness about how families can join forces in the effort to share healthier habits. This January designation is also a reminder that parents and anyone acting as a role model for children can help impact their health by promoting a healthier lifestyle through better eating and engaging in active indoor and outdoor activities, all of which have the bonus feature of spending more time together as a family.

Every family will have its own particular way of moving toward a healthier lifestyle, but here are some considerations that can work for just about everyone:

  • Go food shopping as a family sometimes and talk about the benefits of eating less-processed, more nutritious foods. For parents of younger children, this might require a bit of home-based education, but helping children understand the difference between food choices, especially snacks, is well worth the effort.
  • Make sure that physical activity is a regular part of your family's routine. It can be something as simple as a walk together or a backyard game, but the important thing is to make it part of something you do daily or as frequently as possible.
  • Limit screen time – whether on TV, tablets, computers or phones, children (and adults) should have some strong boundaries around passive and sedentary entertainment or information gathering.

Raising awareness about a family approach to fitness is something that should be year-long and lifelong, but in recognition of National Family Fit Lifestyle Month, this January is a great time to renew the commitment.