Time to Share Some Strategies!

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Wow! The Family Fit Challenge is already half way over! The time is flying by! Through trial and error we have developed some great strategies to stay on track with both healthy eating and fitness. Time to share some of the things that have been working for our family!

Healthy Eating

Breakfast– Plan Ahead!
I try to plan what I will make for breakfast the night before and lay out any materials I can before I go to bed.  If we will be doing eggs, I put the pan on the stove and a stack of plates on the counter; ready to be used.  If we will be doing smoothies, I leave the blender, protein powder, fruit, and cups out on the counter.  Having the plan and the materials already there when I wake up helps so much with our already hectic morning routine.

Lunch and Dinners– Plan Ahead!
We put together a meal list for the upcoming week on Sundays. The list includes a meal plan with a corresponding grocery list.  We pack lunches the night before. We also do any meal prep we can for the next day’s dinner before going to bed.  Having a plan, and more importantly, the groceries needed on hand, makes it much easier to stick to a healthy eating routine.

Snacks for Sports or Long Car Trips– Plan Ahead!
We fill reusable water bottles half way and freeze them. We can pull them out of freezer and fill them up with water, to have a drink that will stay cold for hours.  We use these on our busy days when we will be spending a good part of our day in the car or at a sporting event. We pack a variety of healthy snacks to bring with us in a cooler bag as well. Some of our favorites are; frozen yogurt tubes, apple sauce pouches, mozzarella sticks, fruit (apples, bananas, pears, etc), dry almonds, or beef jerky.  If you plan ahead and have snacks on hand, you won’t be tempted to hit the drive through when the hunger pangs kick in.


Start off Small
It is great to set long-term fitness goals but you will be more likely to stick to your plan if you also set smaller, measurable goals.  Start off by setting just a daily goal. Maybe you want to be active for at least 30 minutes per day.  Once you meet that goal, build off of it.  Maybe next, you set the goal of jogging/walking 30 minutes/day.  You might then be able to progress to running 30 minutes/day and eventually run a 5k.  If you set your goals too high early on, you will be more likely to become frustrated and give up. Don’t allow that to happen! Start off small and gradually increase the goal!

Research shows that you are more likely to stay with a goal if you share it with others.  Again, start off small but tell others about your fitness plans and goals.  Ask others to check in with you periodically to see how are doing with your goal.  You are more likely to stick with a goal if you know you need to share progress updates with others.

Find a Workout Partner or Join a Class
Some people say they prefer to work out alone.  I for one, am not one of those people.  I have learned that I will always work harder and longer if I work out with a partner or group.  Even if it is just a dvd that I am doing, I need the presence of others (even if they are on t.v.) to push myself.   I do work out occasionally on my own as well, but have recognized that I don’t push myself as much on those days.

Don’t Waste Time Talking about When You Will Exercise- Just Do It!  No Time Like the Present!
The T25 workout routine we’re doing is done 6 days/week with one rest day.  Our weekday routine is to do it as soon as  get home from work/school.  On our drive home, we talk about homework, chores, etc. that need to get done that evening.  As soon as we walk in the door though, we change into workout clothes and head upstairs to start the exercise routine.  Sometimes kids will join in, sometimes not, but regardless of their participation, I have realized I need to do it as soon as we get home.  If we don’t do it then, too many things will come up and pull our attention away.  Before I know it, it can easily become bedtime and we are so much less motivated to follow through and do the workout.  It’s the same thing with my running routine.  I run before work a few days a week.  I’ve learned I cannot hit the snooze button on those days. I need to just get up with the alarm, get dressed, and head out the door. The key is to plan a time and stick to it! Once you’ve done it for a week or so, it will be much easier to stick with it.  The same goes for getting in family exercise time with the kids.  Plug it into your schedule and don’t let anything get in the way.  Just as you wouldn’t miss a doctor or dentist appointment, don’t miss you family exercise appointment!

Play with the Kids
Just being outside, running around with the kids is exercise! Play tag, play soccer, throw a ball back and forth, have a relay race. Just get outside and move! If you prefer to be inside, you could try a dance party or musical chairs. My kids love those as well! One of our favorite activities to do with the kids is to give them a GPS Challenge.   I give them my phone with one of my GPS running apps turned on.  I really like MapMyRun. We give them a distance goal of a mile or two.  We let them pass off the phone to one another so that they work together as a team to get in the mileage. They can even do it while just running around in the yard.  It’s amazing how quickly they can clock a couple of miles when we set it up as a challenge! One of our favorite places to do this fun game is at the White Water Center, just walking or running the track. Here are a couple of quick videos to give you some more ideas on how to get the kids moving.

Now for our weekly highlights:

Chuck– I went running outside during lunch breaks.  I had my protein shake for breakfast instead of choosing the less healthy option.

–  I made it through another week of the T25 workouts.  Even though I was tempted, I stayed away from all of the yummy treats that were available at work for Teacher Appreciation week.

– I gave my best effort in my lacrosse game this past Saturday.  I worked hard to choose the healthy options at lunch last week.

-I worked hard at my lacrosse game and practice.  I drank alot of water!

I did good at soccer!   I ate lots of meatloaf!

– I had fun at my soccer game on Sunday!  I ate lots of applesauce!

Hope you all have a great week!  Get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather while getting in some family fitness!