How Family Health Can Help Drive A More Successful Health Journey
Committing to a health journey is a courageous decision, one in which you don’t need to go alone. It turns out that people can be more successful in achieving their health goals when others, like loved ones, support or participate in a family health journey.
In fact, a weight loss study found that adults in a microclinic, where 2–7 people from the same social network participated in regular wellness activities together—like physical activity and healthy meals—saw a slew of health improvements. Participants lost 6.5 pounds more, trimmed an extra quarter-inch from their waists, and reduced their blood pressure more than those who received standard care alone.
People with a spouse or life partner should look to this partner, especially when pursuing health goals. One study found that spouses were seen to have the strongest influence on eating patterns, especially relating to snacks and alcohol. So if someone is trying to establish a health routine, it’s worth considering how their partner can get on board as well.
When it comes to children’s health, it’s a good opportunity for parents to consider this as a family health goal and work together to support each other. A study revealed that overweight children who were enrolled in a weight loss program concurrently with their overweight parent lost more weight than children who participated without their parent.
Here are some ways to infuse family health into your everyday routines, to help the whole family get healthier together:
- Infuse more activity into the weekday: If possible, walk with your child to school instead of hopping in the car. If that’s not feasible, try walking with them to the bus stop or going on a stroll together after dinner.
- Use the weekend to boost exercise: Make the most of your weekend by going on a hike with your family. Look up a nearby trail that works across everyone’s fitness levels, pack some healthy snacks, and enjoy the fresh air while catching up with your loved ones in the outdoors.
- Engage in a sport: Participate in a family-friendly sport like basketball, tennis or kickball. Consider what you can easily play in your backyard, check out a local park, or you can even join a family league in your area.
- Create healthy eating habits together: Nothing brings a family together better than food. Choose a day of the week when the family cooks a healthy meal together. Give each person a task like having one person do salad prep, one person do the vegetable chopping, and one person wash and slice fruit for dessert, This is a good opportunity to focus on quality time together by catching up on how your days went while enjoying good eats.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.