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7 Habits of Healthy Families

By Sandy Schroeder

Most families have some favorite healthy routines in place, but it never hurts to do a spot check to see if you can add a few more.

Health.com asked Dr. Oz for his tips on keeping families healthy and here’s what he suggested.

Make family a real team - The best families respect each member and play together as a team. Parents are the coaches and kids are the all-star players ready for the next game.

Set up regular breakfasts and lunch - Figure out which healthy foods play best at your house and then set them up as regular breakfasts, like oats and fruit or eggs and toast, that everybody enjoys. Leaving menus to chance can open the door to a lot of bad choices.

Add 20 minutes of home exercise - Everybody can find room for 20 minutes and when it becomes a habit it often stretches to 30 or 40 minutes. Take a short walk, do jumping jacks and planks, hop on the treadmill or stationary bike, or shoot hoops with your kids.

Keep the tank half full - Never let family members reach the starving point, which causes the hunger hormone, ghrelin, to spike. It takes at least 30 minutes to subdue ghrelin, which leaves a lot of time for gobbling calories. Keep healthy filling snacks such as almonds on hand to avoid hunger sweeps.

Make family dinners a must - Finding the time to sit down together can make all of the difference. Phones are shut down and each person has a chance to talk about their day. Healthy appetites and a spirit of trust happen automatically when there is time to talk and really listen. If dinners get side-tracked with work, make breakfasts a time for everybody to sit down together.

Create a quiet bedtime routine - Lowering the volume, adding warm baths and story time, or time for quiet conversations, can help everyone relax and get a good night’s sleep. Often parents find out how their kids really are doing as they confide their thoughts at night. Staying in touch every night helps every one sleep better.

Make time to play - Kicking the soccer ball around the backyard, shooting hoops or biking to the park keeps family in the team spirit. Outdoor active time keeps each family member healthy, and it provides one more way to spend a little time together.

Each family is unique. You may already have lots of ways to stay healthy together, but you can never have too many. Enjoy!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic. in McKinney, Tex.

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