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Get Up And Get Moving Diet And Exercise: A Family Affair

It is a new year and a few bars of the traditional melody of "out with the old and in with the new" is humming in your head. Diet. Exercise. Lose weight. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Stop drinking. Quit smoking. Don't snack. Stop! Quit! Don't! Sound familiar?

Health and exercise top the lists of many of this year’s commitments to a healthy lifestyle and getting fit. But how can you accomplish everything that needs to be done in a day, much less bother with exercising and dieting? Time appears to be the enemy - we drive everywhere and eat on the go. Healthy fast food options are limited and there is not enough time to workout. Being healthy just doesn't appear possible.

The desire to be healthy is natural. Yet, establishing healthy habits are challenging. So, is it unrealistic to expect eating and exercising habits to change over night? No! Your family or business can be healthy and strong by incorporating a few changes to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Team Family
Teaching healthy habits that last a lifetime require good team effort. This family affair plays an important role in determining the path to good health. You don't have to break the bank on gym memberships, trainers or recreation center activities. Synchronize your own activities and become your own trainers with TEAM FAMILY. As a team, your family will thrive. Get commitments from everyone to participate. Take small steps and try focusing on setting mini-goals. Pat each other on the back for getting things done and for making healthy and nutritious choices.

1. Eating right is everyone's job. Make shopping a family affair, selecting foods that everyone can enjoy. You may not be able to do everything as a family, but you can gather a list of everyone's favorite nutritional food and buy it. Also, never shop when you are hungry - the temptation to buy anything and everything is too great.

2. Limit unhealthy snacking. Schedule “snack” breaks and “no snack zones”. Although snacking is not encouraged, make healthy food readily available when emergency snack attacks hit. Having apples, fresh vegetables and nuts around the office or at home are better than having sweets. Diet and nutrition bars may be healthy but watch out for processed sugar.

3. Make healthy synonymous with delicious. Healthy doesn't have to mean boring or bland. Vary your cooking patterns by altering or substituting your preparation techniques. Alternate between frying, baking and broiling. Stir-fried and steamed foods are also good. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, which are filling and have fewer calories.

4. Play mind games. The desire to overindulge is minimized by reducing portion sizes and second helpings. So, cook just enough for mealtime and manage the leftovers. Bring just enough food to the office for lunch. You can also trick your mind into thinking your stomach is full by cutting food into small pieces and chewing slowly, eating on small plates and drinking from smaller glasses, which gives the illusion of larger portions.

5. Gravy gives it flavor. Everyone loves gravy so rather than remove it from your diet all together, find alternatives to give food that extra flavor. Try broths, natural juices from meat and low-cal and vinaigrette dressings. Use low-fat dairy products instead of whole milk, butter and cheese. Also, cut back on salt and substitute lemon juice or spices.

6. Hydrate with lots of water. Decrease your daily intake of soda, sport drinks and alcohol. Substitute fruit juices, diet soda, tea and caffeine-free drinks. Beware, though, of processed sugars and salts.


Team workouts
1. Quick and easy exercises for the busy micro-employer. Get moving and get the team off of the couch. Remember, simple things like walking up the stairs, getting up and manually changing the television channel, walking around while talking on the phone or meeting with a client is good exercise and even fidgeting will burn a few calories.

2. Work for your supper. Mealtime can mean exercise so allow everyone to participate in mealtime preparations. It takes movement to set the table, make the salad, clear the table, clean the dishes, put them away and put out the trash.

3. Establish a routine of family exercise where everyone contributes to picking the activity. If it's going for a walk after dinner, riding bikes or playing Frisbee at the park, moving is always better than watching.

4. Make exercise all in a day's work. Chores are another smart way to get in some exercise. Your family can clean and exercise at the same time by mowing the lawn, vacuuming, sweeping, washing the car or doing the laundry.

5. Take a night off and have family night out. Although being together is nice, it is not always possible or necessary. So, take some time to rest and relax, even from each other. You don't have to be together to stay together.