How to motivate a family to fitness? Our family is working on healthy eating and fitness goals. Let’s just say it’s not been all sunshine and roses. We’ve struggled to get started. We’ve struggled to keep going.
Our family signed up for the Faithful Finish Lines program together and we set out to accomplish this as a family. Our goal is to walk a 5K together on December 20th. Being the grand to-do list master, I got us hooked up with the plans and posted them on our kitchen cabinet:
Then the weather here in Colorado looked like this:
We were determined. One afternoon we went to a church event early and walked circles in the church hallways. One kid *cough six year old cough* wailed the entire time and protested moving his body in any way. Pleasantness. Another day we decided to bundle up and brave the elements.
Clean eating has presented continual challenges as well. Some of the kids have jumped right on board with the idea and want to embrace it. Others *cough 10 year old cough* are fighting tooth and nail for every last sugary treat that is available at church, school, parties, and 50,000 other places it feels like I’ve had to say no to junk food in the last few weeks.
We’ve had to take a step back and regroup. I’ve been considering what motivates me and what is motivating others in the Faithful Finish Lines group.
Faithful Finish Lines
The Faithful Finish Lines Beta Group is currently going through a test of the 7 week online faith and fitness program and they are doing a fantastic job! This FFL group is absolutely rocking out this challenge and having amazing success! Each week they receive 4 emails from me, and they are part of a private community group on Facebook. We have live chats on Sunday evenings. Every week also has a different topic and a different eating focus. All of us have now chosen a goal we plan to accomplish and we are training for our goals. Goals for individual members include all types of 5Ks, a 10K and a 1/2 marathon, swimming a 1/2 mile, a treading water challenge, 100 pushups and sit ups, a Tri @ the Gym, and walking steps challenges. This is awesome stuff! Here is a list of the group’s individual fitness goals: Faithful Finish Lines Member Events
Check out these bloggers who are writing about their experiences:
Lauren @ His Grace Is Sufficient
Sarah @ Big Things – Little People
Danielle @ Danielle Dyball
Sharon @ Dare to Be Happy
Shelby @ Shelby Ketchen
Cate @ Random Crafty
Michele @ Joy Returns
Denise @ The Ramblings of Denise Dilley
Amanda @ Airman 2 Mom
Ashley @ One Blessed Life
Our next Faithful Finish Lines program will be January 5-February 21st, 2015. I hope you will consider joining us for this amazing opportunity! More details to come soon!
How to Motivate a Family to Fitness
- Each person needs to be invested in choosing his or her own goals.
- Each of us needs to understand the benefits and reasons for making healthy choices.
No matter how young or old, no one likes to be told what to choose for his or her goals. Mike and I have the responsibility to help our kids move toward fitness and healthy eating, but we have to give our kids ownership in choosing goals and how to reach for them. Then we are here to help our kids reach their goals.
We as parents also needed to spend more time talking to our kids about WHY we desire fitness and healthy eating choices for our family and the benefits when we make these choices. This is tough when the reward of a doughnut is right in front of us, and feeling good feels far away and distant. We’ll keep up the conversations, though.
What do you do to motivate your family toward fitness and healthy eating? Share your ideas with me! Do you reward your kids for making healthy choices or have you found other strategies that work?
Rebekah @Surviving Toddlerhood says
Right now my boys are young enough that they don’t get a choice with what they eat. We have several food sensitivities and allergies in our house, I love it when I hear the older one say to the younger “we can’t drink daddy’s pop, it has corn in it and that makes our tummies hurt.”
My husband and I are pretty active although we are definitley more so in the summer, but we do want our children to grow up being active with a love of the outdoors.
Sara Borgstede says
Rebekah, it sounds like your family has some great healthy habits in place! That is awesome. Your children will grow up knowing that as their “normal” and those will be a way of life for them. That is wonderful and such a gift you are giving them.
Denise Dilley says
Since it’s just me and my husband, I can’t imagine having to try to motivate an entire family to be healthy! Sometimes it’s hard enough to motivate myself. Or my husband. But you’re right: each person must be invested in their own desire to get healthy otherwise they won’t be motivated. Especially if they feel they have no choice in the matter.
Keep up the good work, Sara!
Shelby Ketchen says
Great post, Sara. My kids are way too old for me to directly influence but I’m hoping they’ll still get the idea that eating at least a little cleaner and moving is helping me so it could help them too. It was a lot easier when they were little and I could MAKE them do things!
Joe and I are each trying to work out what better eating and what exercise means for us. It would be great if it were the same but it isn’t so we are trying to find as many commonalities as possible and then respect one another’s choices.
Denise Dilley says
Respect goes a long way! My husband is being supportive of the choices I’m making and has been a huge encouragement.
Danielle Dyball says
Talking with our kiddos has always worked for us. Sure we’ll get the occasional pout and plenty of sulking, but in the end they understand why we are choosing to live healthier. Really the only thing we’ve had to eliminate or cut down on was cereal. My son who was 7 at the time only ever wanted cereal, so we weaned him off of it, lol! He could have it every other day, then 2 times a week, then 1 time. Now he regularly chooses something else and only has cereal a couple times a month.
Recently we also eliminated anything with food dye. My 3 year old turns into a demon child if she has anything with red 40–even Benedryl. So every now and then someone will ask for something colorful and all I have to do is remind them how Sarah acts and they don’t even question it. They’ll choose something different.
Having the whole family on board sure helps though, doesn’t it?!
Sara Borgstede says
Danielle, Great thoughts! Any good suggestions for breakfast options that your kids like instead of cereal? My kids are cereal FANATICS and that is one thing we are working on giving up. (Plus it’s super expensive.) We are doing smoothies, oatmeal, and scrambled eggs. It’s actually going better than I thought. We are working on eliminating dyes too. So far I haven’t seen any behavior changes, unfortunately, although I figure it can’t hurt. We don’t need those types of foods regardless.