Healthy Habits to Cultivate
The time to start developing healthy habits is right now! Check out how a founder of one of our favorite products is helping role models everywhere develop healthy habits in their children!
Do your children have these healthy habits?
When it comes to maintaining and improving our health, very few factors have as great an influence as physical activity.
My company, FluidStance, has made it our mission to help set the world in motion, and we are always looking for ways to add movement to our everyday lives. Engaging in regular physical activity is one of the most important things we can do for our physical and mental health, and studies have shown that, in addition to improving overall health, movement can even boost our kids’ brainpower and academic prowess.
So why is it that our kids aren’t moving enough?
“We estimate that kids today are spending 85 to 90% of their waking hours sitting at school, doing homework, driving to and from school, and in front of screens—to the detriment of their bodies and minds,” Juliet Starrett—parent and San Francisco Crossfit cofounder—told Fast Company.
Starrett is one of many parents working to instate standing desks and other active learning options in her children’s schools. Active learning is a great way to tap into the benefits of movement, but there are still many things we can do at home to demonstrate and instill healthy habits:
1. Make TV time active
Especially as our kids get older, it can be more and more tempting to ease up on television time regulations—especially during long periods of no school, like summer and the holidays.
One way to make sure your family isn’t slipping into a sedentary slump is to instate mini movement goals for every 15 minutes of TV time, such as 5 push-ups or 15 jumping jacks. Be sure to lead by example and participate too in order to really build the habit.
2. Turn the carpool into a walk-pool
If you live close enough to the school, park, or community center, enlist other parents and make your usual carpool a little more active. Turning the walk (or bike ride, if possible) into social time can ensure that it doesn’t feel like a chore for your kids.
Take the opportunity to work toward your personal daily step goal by joining the walk-pool whenever you can.
3. Find camps and active after-school programs
For those of us with kids who may be a little more reluctant to engage in physical activity, camps or after-school programs can be a great way to immerse them in a more active environment. Summer serves as the perfect time to try new things, since our normal habits are often out the window anyway.
In addition to making friends with other physically active kids, your kids may find a healthy new activity or hobby that they are passionate about.
4. Add movement to screen time
Handing your smartphone or tablet to the kids can be an easy way to keep them entertained and even learning, but long periods of screen time can mean long periods of inactivity.
Without the saving grace of commercials or short episodes that can serve as natural movement breaks, making screen time active can be difficult. Using a yoga ball or FluidStance Level can help your kids engage in subtle movement while they play video games, making that screen time just a little more active.
5. Get a dog
Get that family dog your kids have always wanted and give your kids the responsibility of making sure their dog gets at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Better yet, make walking the dog a family activity, so you can all benefit from the extra movement. Plus, you never know what conversations you will uncover along the way.
6. Lead by example
When our kids see us participating in physical activity and prioritizing our health, they’ll learn to do the same.
Taking walks every night after dinner, enrolling in adult sports leagues, or pursuing a new physical activity like rock climbing or surfing that you’ve always been interested in are all great ways to communicate to our kids that healthy habits matter.
Bonus: Teach them to swim
Swimming is one of the most enjoyable forms of healthy activity that doesn’t seem like exercise. You can take them to a certified swim instructor or you can teach them via swim lessons at home!