When it comes to good health, it is more enjoyable when the whole family gets involved.  Parents lead the way by establishing boundaries, ensuring plenty of quality family time, and providing healthy meals.  In addition, staying physically active ensures greater confidence and a more positive self-image for each family member.  Five healthy habits help families build stronger connections and promote better fitness.



1. Establish no-technology family time.  Televisions, computers and cell phones get in the way of family bonding, so establishing some tech-free together time is one of the best healthy habits for families.  Take 60 minutes after dinner to go for a walk together, walk the dog if you have one, play a board game, or go for a bike ride.


2. Build healthier minds and bodies with yoga.  A family yoga class teaches adults and kids to become more aware of their bodies and builds balance, strength and flexibility.  In addition to the physical benefits, yoga also promotes a more relaxed and focused mind. Because family schedules can be hectic, this is something everyone can use.


3. Connect to the great outdoors.  Living in the electronic age, it's easy to forget about all of the wonderful benefits Mother Nature offers.  From hiking through the forest to a day at the beach – outdoor outings allow family members to connect with nature.  In addition, studies show that people who spend more time outdoors are less likely to develop depression and anxiety. 


4. Engage in a little family competition.  If parents set a good example by keeping activities light-hearted, family competition can be fun and healthy.  Competition teaches kids humility, respect for others and it builds confidence and physical fitness.  Fun, competitive activities for families include outdoor activities like kickball, basketball, ladder ball or spike ball and enjoyable indoor games like Pictionary, charades or Wii Sports.


5. Enjoy "pick-and-play" activities.  Write ideas for fun family activities on small pieces of paper and stuff them into a colorful jar or box.  Set aside a little time each week, and draw from the container to see what the family will do together that day.  Make sure to take turns so that everyone feels involved.


In families, good health starts from the top down.  Parents set the tone by being healthy role models, ensuring plenty of quality family time and providing nutritious foods, physical activity, and spirited competition.  The healthy living tips above help families stay connected and have fun in enjoyable, wholesome ways.