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Make it fun! How to keep the family healthy and active

Make it fun! How to keep the family healthy and active

We know—you’re super busy and your to-do list sometimes seems miles long. When you’re setting your priorities, though, put “keeping the family healthy and active” near the top of the list.

Family Health and Fitness Day is celebrated the second Saturday in June, serving as a reminder that community parks offer a great environment to keep your family active. Our area is packed with parks and recreation activities that can help you and your loved ones get the physical activity needed to stay in good health.

Wondering why it’s so important to build healthy habits as a family? Are you looking for ideas to get out and active in the community? The LCMC Health team shares some insight below.

Healthy habits and kids: A great combination

Did you know there’s a secret to having healthy lifestyle habits as an adult? Build those healthy habits during childhood!

Habits that begin when we’re young are more likely to continue when we’re older—both for good and for bad. In some instances, we can build habits that are harmful to our health as young children, such as eating a lot of junk food or spending too much time in front of a screen.

On the flip side, though, we can also build good habits as kids that stick around for the long run and set us up to stay healthy and well. That’s where you come in as a parent!

When you practice healthy lifestyle habits, including being physically active, limiting screen time and eating a balanced diet, your kids are more likely to adopt those habits, too.

MORE: Self-care is healthcare

The components of a healthy lifestyle

Practicing a healthy lifestyle is all about cultivating basic routines and habits that keep your body and mind strong, healthy and active.

Start with healthy eating, focusing on antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and lean protein sources like chicken or fish. Try to limit processed foods in your diet and instead choose whole foods whenever possible.

It’s also important to be physically active, prioritize getting enough quality sleep and find healthy ways to manage stress.

5 ideas for active family fun

Active parents are more likely to have active children. Spend time with family members participating in activities that don’t involve sitting or lounging around!

Try out these suggestions from our LCMC Health crew:

  1. Create an obstacle course. In your backyard or even at a local park, set up activities that will get your heart pumping faster. Include basic movements such as jumping jacks, jump rope and jogging in place along the path to the finish line.
  2. Play a game of tag. Had a hard day at work? Burning off a little extra energy (and steam) with a quick game of tag might be the perfect solution! You’ll get the kids up and moving, too. That’s definitely a win-win situation.
  3. Make video games an activity. You might not think of gaming as physically active, but it can be. Choose games that require moving your body and have a blast playing them as a family.
  4. Take a family hike. There are plenty of places around NOLA to get out and explore! In City Park alone, you’ll find 24 miles of walking trails, with most of them short and easy. That means there are lots of options for little ones and their adults.
  5. Hit the pool for a swim. Whether you have a backyard pool or hit up one of the NOLA community pools, swimming is a great way to be active as a family—and a perfect way to cool down from our intense summer heat! Sign your kids up for swimming lessons if they haven’t learned to swim yet, and then have a blast getting your swim on.

Regular checkups with a primary care provider can help keep tabs on your health and your family’s, too. Schedule a primary care appointment today.