When we live in a society surrounded by fast food restaurants, convenience foods and a vending machines at every corner (including those places that encourage a healthier lifestyle) what chance do we have to lead healthy lifestyles and even more so to encourage the younger generation to do so.
As the saying goes prevention is better than cure, so it goes without saying that a healthy outside starts on the inside. If we feed our bodies with garbage we will feel like rubbish. Likewise if we sit on our bums all day we will become sluggish and tired.
The challenge isn’t accepting what you know is right, its managing the change….
LEAD BY EXAMPLE….If you are seen to be doing something it is much more likely that others will follow. This is definitely something that has worked with us.
When I started this blog I was the only runner and the diet was pretty much dictated by me as I am the one that prepares it all. I used to eat different meals to everyone else until I decided that we all needed to improve our diets which also meant eating the same meals at the same time together.
2 years on and my husband is now a keen runner and my youngest enjoys to run with me at park runs. Niamh is not as keen to run but she enjoys other things like ballet and riding her bike.
MAKE IT FUN…. Get the kids involved in what you are doing and get them asking questions. The curious little things ask a lot of questions it is inevitably going to happen.
We have had a lot of fun from fun runs, walking holidays, climbing mountains. To food challenges and making YouTube videos to get them involved and learning about food.
LET THEM HELP…. They love to feel involved and my girls are often found in the kitchen helping me chop the vegetables, or joining me on a run. They also like to get involved in my meal planning and we come up with healthy family meals we all enjoy.
This leads me nicely onto my next tip!
PLANNING…. I always plan my meals for the week. It keeps costs down and takes the thinking away when your tired after a busy day. This is likely to be when we reach for the convenience foods.
I have also started a 4 week planner that I can rotate. This doesn’t mean we will eat the same foods each week but we will have a pasta night, fakeaway night, fish and chip Friday and a jacket potato on my running nights. There is usually 1 night over the weekend where we may eat out if we are out and about. But if it’s a quiet weekend at home then it’s bbq’s in the summer and a roastie in the winter.
I try to plan a new meal each week to introduce something new to the family. Something you have never dared to try as you “think” they won’t like it. How do you know unless you try!
Slow progress is still progress. Do not make the change too big or too complicated. It will not happen over night. The first step is just to start. There is no better time than now.
If I can convince just one of you that living a healthy lifestyle is not all doom and gloom then hopefully you can go on to motivate others.
We enjoy our treats just like everyone else and we have our bad weeks where we make do with what we have. It’s not always a perfect week but I live by the rule that at least 80% of the time we are looking after our bodies well.