Family Fitness Challenge: 30 Days to Healthier Habits
By Staci Amend
October 1, 2014
No matter where you are in your Jenny Craig weight loss program, you know how important it is to have the support of your family. After all, everything is a bit easier when the people you love are behind you! Want to take their involvement deeper—while building strong bonds AND creating healthy new habits for everyone in the house? Kick off a personal family fitness challenge! You’ve probably seen various challenges in the news and on your Facebook feed, and it’s easy to customize a 30-day program for your own family. Here are a few tips to help you structure your program and get started.
Set a schedule.
Start by finding a time to which ALL members of your family can commit for 30 days. For most families, this will be in the morning before work or school, or in the early evening when everyone gets home. Encourage participating adults to make this “appointment” a priority, and to juggle potential work commitments around it whenever possible. If they can’t, encourage them to exercise on their own at lunch.
Find an activity.
Next, find a few activities that the whole family can enjoy together, regardless of age or fitness level. Since you’ll be doing this every day for a month, it’s good to have a mix of more involved activities you can do on weekends (i.e. family hikes, or taking a yoga class together) and simple activities you can do at home on weekdays (like walking around the block or doing a dance workout together). Not everyone need do the same exact activity; if your little ones have trouble keeping up with (or staying interested in) your walk, have them ride bikes or scooters. It’s important to keep ALL your activities accessible and realistic, so you’ll actually accomplish them every day.
As a Jenny Craig member, you’ve already set a weight loss goal. Now it’s time to set your sights on a fitness accomplishment—then get the whole gang on board. Again, this goal need not be the same for each member of your family. You and your spouse might want to count your steps each day, while your kids might want to attain a certain “level” in a particular fitness-inspired video game. Or you all might just want to commit to simply exercising together every day, regardless of outcome. There are no bad ideas in a fitness challenge!
What’s a challenge without a little incentive? For adults and kids alike, identifying rewards in advance can help sustain motivation throughout the month. Rewards can be individual, like a new outfit for mom or a coveted toy for the kids, or family-minded, like a trip to your local amusement park. Just be sure that you choose something that can keep the whole team interested throughout the challenge.
Fuel your efforts.
Now that you’ve got a fitness plan in place, go the extra mile by creating some simple, healthy meals to enjoy with your family. Planning in advance will not only give your kids special meals to look forward to—it will help streamline your weekly grocery shopping trip, too! Our healthy diet recipe database has lots of great ideas, like Garden Vegetable Lasagna, Garden Fresh Vegetable Pizza, Chicken and Noodles Italian Style (a slow-cooked family favorite) and Veggie Stuffed Macaroni and Cheese. Bon appètit… and good luck!