As an elementary physical education teacher, I meet students and families who do not live what I would consider healthy lifestyles. Too many people still look at being healthy as something equated with not having fun and not enjoying food. Nonsense, I say! On the contrary, if you exercise regularly and eat healthy foods, you feel better and have more energy and enthusiasm to have more fun! I pride myself in being able to squeeze in time for daily exercise and for finding ways to make healthy and satisfying foods for my family. Here are some tips I would like to share. It is January, after all, a time for making resolutions and lifestyle changes…
Number 1 and foremost tip: You cannot change your life and/or your family’s life over night or over a week or even in a month. Lasting changes in your lifestyle are a process. They take time. And change should start small…baby steps
Number 2: Pick something that you know you can do. For example, give up one soda a day. Or park in the back of the parking lot at work, forcing you to walk more. Or pack a healthy lunch one day a week, rather than eating out. Or exercise one day a week for 15 minutes.
Number 3: Be patient with yourself. Just set one small goal and stick to it. Don’t try anything else different. You will know when you are ready for the next goal. Do not rush it. It took you a lifetime to develop the habits you have now. It will take time to develop new habits.
Number 4: Take it one day at a time. Don’t map out a week of work-outs, if you never work-out! If Tuesday rolls around, and you actually do your work-out, be happy about that. Don’t plan the next work-out before you allow yourself to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment for what you did!
Number 5: Keep a work-out log or an eating log. Whatever your goal is, have a place to write it down or enter it on an online calendar, or blog it! And then with each accomplishment, you get to put it in writing.
I hope these tips help someone out there. I will have more tips and more advice on how to get fit and healthy and how to help your family as well. I work with children every day and I know what works.