Thursday 18 December 2014

Karl Henry: Tips on how to get your family in shape

Family jogging for sport outdoors
Family jogging for sport outdoors
Karl Henry

Q: DO YOU have any tips for helping to get my family fit? I have decided that 2014 is the year to make the change and would appreciate any tips.

Karl says: WELL done on deciding to help your family get fit. We know that families that get healthy as a unit get better results. I feel that it's so important to work as a unit to improve the health of your family.

If your children need to lose weight then lecturing them is of little use, instead a family approach where everyone is involved is often better, as you are now leading by example, showing them that you are getting involved too. Here are some of my favourite tips:

Let each member choose an activity

This is one of the key points that makes all the difference to any programme with families. We all like different sports so every week or every month, let one person in the family choose what activity they want to do.

This not only makes them happy it also exposes everyone to a whole range of sports that you would not normally do. Staying fit for life is all about finding a sport or sports that you like to do and this is a way to ensure that you all get to try as many sports as possible

Get your children involved in cooking

I am always amazed with the lack of cooking and food knowledge that teenagers have when I do lectures in schools and with parents' associations.

Why not get your family involved in cooking as well, choose one evening a week where each person cooks the meal, or shops for the ingredients or gets involved some how?

Health-based rewards

We all love treats and rewards for doing good and achieving our goals. Why not make these treats health-based in some way, like clothes or runners or some other sport-related item?

Limit computer game time

With each new computer console on the market comes some new way of online interaction that seems to increase the addictiveness of the games. In my opinion, these games should be limited to a certain amount of time so that there is room in the day for activity.

Treat day each week

Try these tips with your family and I think you will find a big difference.

Q: MY New Year's resolutions are already starting to wane. Can you help?

START again and set yourself specific goals. By setting goals you will increase your chance of success by 40pc, especially if you set the right goals.

Irish Independent

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