So, you’re resistant to making healthy changes because you feel like it’s going to be depressing. It might be.
But you’re considering it, because your doctor told you to do it if you value your future. Perhaps you feel convicted all on your own that you need to make some changes for you or your children.
Maybe you’re overweight or you have health issues or you had a health crisis or you want to avoid some issues that appear to run in your family or your wife is making you. Everyone has their own reasons.
Yes, it can be a lonely road, although these days many more people appear to be getting on board with healthy changes. So, it’s very likely you’ll be able to find company.
Yes, it can be a boring, uninspiring, tasteless journey, But it doesn’t have to be. It is what you make it. Make it fun.
Before we get into ideas to create an enjoyable journey, lets list some benefits of following through and the benefits of getting healthier:
- live longer
- better quality of life
- potentially be able to reduce certain medications or not need them at all (only with doctor’s approval)
- function better as you age
- be an example to your family/children/spouse
- better athletic performance
- enjoy life more
- sense of accomplishment once you come out the other end of food withdrawal/addiction
- becoming more fit makes everyday activities easier
- you’ll discover more foods you actually like
- being healthy is cheaper than being sick
- no “what ifs” later in life, because you know your did your best
So how can we make it more enjoyable? Here are a few ideas….
Get support. Whether it’s with your family, a group of friends or even an online community. Even businesses are getting on board with wellness programs because in the end, it saves them money. So find coworkers as well.
- Do you have smaller children and need healthy snacks/lunches? Coop with other moms and each prepare one healthy snack/lunch for the week and share with the other moms in the group. There. You made one snack, but ended up with 5.
- Same idea applies to dinner prep. Either prep meals together (many hands make light work) or each prep enough meals for the group and swap. Like a cookie exchange, except not cookies. Back away from the cookies.
- Get a health partner, encourage each other and hold each other accountable.
- Have a “healthy” pot luck lunch/dinner/dessert.
- Workout together.
- Walk together at work or home. Walking meetings at work are becoming popular.
- Cook as a family.
- Have a monthly health newsletter at work, in your group or church where anyone can contribute their ideas, accomplishments, questions, etc.
- Make foods into fun figures for kids or artistic for adults.
- Share recipes.
- Have a thankful list to add to each day.
- Sign up to do something new together (or on your own) like an exercise or cooking class. Try a new hobby to take your mind off of eating.
- Make it an adventure… try new spices, new foods, experiment!
- Keep a chart – mark the things you accomplish each day, celebrate at the end of the week.
- Let your kids plan/cook a healthy meal with your guidance.
- Have a grocery store scavenger hunt.
- Come up with ways to make your favorite meals healthier.
- Do group activities that don’t center around eating.
- Do family activities that give you exercise as well as fun.
- Exercise while you’re doing something sedentary, like watching TV. Do squats whenever there is a commercial.
Some people can be motivated with a little friendly competition. Here are some ways to compete against others or yourself.
Have winners and a reward, incentive or bragging rights. Perhaps at home this could involve chores or tasks at work.
- Use a food log and see who can eat the least amount of sugar, salt, carbs etc (or whatever you’re avoiding) in a given time period (day, week, etc)
- Who can create the best tasting dessert (meeting the agreed to dietary requirements -such as low sodium, low carb, etc.)
- Have a cooking challenge using a particular food item.
- Who can get the most steps in a given period of time.
- Who can achieve the biggest percentage of improvement in blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, weight loss, etc. in a given period of time.
- Work on percentage of improvement so all those participating have an equal chance.
- Anyone that participates and completes the challenge should be considered successful.
- Have a virtual race. Use step counters and plot participants along a map.
- Make it a game. Bingo cards with a different challenge in each box, or other creative game.
- Create challenges at work or home to earn points for things accomplished.
- Have a leader board in the break room at work or in kitchen at home.
- Create teams at work to earn points in challenges and bragging rights.
- Use social media and invite “friends” to join you in a challenge.
- No one to compete with? Compete against yourself. Track what you accomplish each week. Then, beat your personal best next week.
Surely you can add to this list. What are some other ideas to make getting healthy fun?
Let’s see how many we can add to this list.