1. Parenting

4 Steps to a Healthy Family Lifestyle

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Teens today face many different obstacles than we did when we were their age. But they also are armed with more information and resources. Teens know about health issues, from dealing with stress, drugs and sex to eating too much junk food, the warning signs are available to them now more than ever. If you haven't already, see how healthy your teen is right now with our quiz.

It falls to us, the generation that didn’t have these resources readily available, to learn what we can and try to implement it in our lives and the lives of our teens. Easy? No. Worth the effort? Yes. Here are five steps on how to implement a healthier lifestyle in your family:

  1. Learn all that you can. You have a huge resources in the internet. You can find out about anything online – and which book is best. Use these resources to narrow down what you can change in your life to make it healthier. Learn about specific health issues that surround you children and teens, see our Teen Health resources.

  2. Talk to your family and set healthy lifestyle goals. The goals should be a consensus from the entire family and do not have to be done immediately. Just having the goals down will allow you to revisit each one at a later date and keep your family on the path you have set. If this task seems a bit daunting, try this:
    • Select two little healthy habits that the family can try.
    • Offer the choice of one of the two for your family to vote on.
    • Then, ask for their suggestions for the next vote.

  3. Change or develop one habit a month. You’ll want to remember the phrase ‘slow and steady’ when working on changing a bad habit into a good one or developing a new habit. By choosing one habit at a time you will be able to focus on the best ways to incorporate that habit into your family’s daily schedule. Thirty days is the amount of time experts agree that it takes to form a habit. Use them all.

  4. Reward your family for a job well done with some fun family activity. Even if you haven't included the habit fully into your family's daily schedule, starting to commit to a healthier family is 70% of the battle and should be rewarded. Keep in mind the reward should stay inline with the healthy habits the family is striving to achieve.

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