Most of us have already made our New Years Resolutions and now we must stick to them. It is all too common to make resolutions and within weeks they are forgotten. With the help of one of our teens we came up with a list of things that families can do collectively not only to be healthier but greener for 2009.
1. Use reusable bags
While yt is great that you might shop at Whole Foods but you should either bring your own bag or use a paper bag., Billions of bags are used in the U.S. every year, most do not get recycled and usually end up in our streets, oceans, storm drains, and landfills. Plastic bags are made from oil and other non-biodegradable materials. Use reusable bags or totes to carry your things around. Reusable bags can be found at most grocery stores (like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods) or some other stores (like Lululemon).
2. Take a walk or bike ride.
We all lead busy lives these days. It is important to have at least one meal together as a family. But take it one step further-take a walk after dinner. Need to get dessert? Can you walk there? Don’t drive if you can walk, ride the bus, or ride a bike. Not only are you getting in some physical activity by riding a bike or walking, you’re also reducing your release of harmful emissions. So enjoy the day (or evening) and get moving! If you absolutely have to travel by car try carpooling if possible.
3. Eat more fresh foods.
Reducing your intake of processed foods can make you healthier and reduce the amount of packaging that goes into the trash. Processed foods tend to have more calories, sugars, salts and preservatives than fresh food. Make cooking a family affair. I was invited to a long time client/friend’s house Christmas Day for brunch. We were put to work right away to make pancakes-from scratch. I even grated fresh cinnamon. I had never done that! The activity of cooking together was fun, provided some bonding with others that were there and made us very conscious of all the ingredients going in. Try to cook dinner together, or at least make a salad together. It will provide for some great bonding time and also be educational and fun!
4. Consume less sugar.
Now, I am not saying to eliminate all sugar from your diet (I know I can not as much as I would like to), just cut back. We need sugar for our bodies to function properly but consuming too much sugar can create health problems. It can be as simple as substituting water for juice or other sugary drinks. Try and eat sweet fruits to satisfy your sweet tooth.
5. Make time for physical activity.
Set aside some time to get moving, take a walk, workout with a friend, ride a bike, or find something you like. Not only will you be doing your body some good but you will feel great, refreshed and energized after. This is not simply just taking a walk after dinner or walking the dog-but really setting at least 30 minutes a day aside for exercise.
6. Make it a family affair
Take it one step further-literally. Hopefully you get to spend at least some weekend time together as a family. Take a walk to the farmer’s market, go to the park, the beach, rent bikes. We live in one of the most amazing places in the world-take advantage of the beautiful weather we get to experience almost daily!
Get inspired by this week’s co-author Carina Andres-Junior @ SAMOHI
1. When did you start exercising/playing sports?
I used to play sports when I was younger, like soccer and volleyball. I didn’t continue with sports after grade school. I recently just started to become more active after coming to O2 MAX.
2. How do you stay fit?
I don’t really have anything that I do. I walk a lot, sometimes up to a mile, it’s much nicer to be outside and faster than taking the bus or driving in traffic.
3.What inspires you?
Feeling good and looking good. Being healthier when you get old isn’t such a bad idea either. Setting an example for others.
4. How has fitness helped in other parts of your life?
Exercise gives me more energy. I began eating healthier and thinking about what I eat.
5. How does your family’s health and fitness affect yours?
it sometimes gets hard because when we go out to eat I try to pick what I think is better rather than what the family typically gets . My family isn’t very active so its kind of hard to go by myself to workout. I like to find a friend who also wants to go and work out.
Karen Jashinsky is the founder of O2 MAX-a youth fitness company that teaches youth how to integrate fitness and nutrition into their day-to-day lives while preventing injuries and empowering youth to lead healthy and fit lifestyles. The O2 MAX Fitness training studio is based in Santa Monica. To receive her newsletter or contact her she can be reached at info (at) o2maxfitnes (dot) com. Or through her website & blog: www.o2maxfitness.com <http://www.o2maxfitness.com>