Setting health goals for the family

Health-related New Year’s resolutions topped the list of goals for 2017. This year, why not make it a family affair?

According to Statistic Brain Research Institute, the number one goal in 2017 was to lose weight and eat healthier. Also in the top 10 were goals to do more exciting things, spend more time with family and work out more often. What if you could all of those things together in 2018?

To get everyone ready, spend some time together as a family talking about what it means to be healthy. Do some research together.

Learn about inflammation. What is it? Why is it bad? What causes inflammation and what are some of the signs that your body is suffering from inflammation? What helps decrease inflammation? Once you have information, you can set goals as a family to live more of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.

What does it mean to be hydrated? Why is hydration important? How does dehydration affect your body and your mind? How can your family stay more hydrated this year?

Some experts say that if you are feeling thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. When our own kids were little, we worked hard to keep them hydrated because we figured out that hydrated kids were happier and more cooperative. On the flip side, dehydrated kids were more likely to be cranky.

So we created two timeslots in our schedule every day for water breaks. Everyone sat down together and drank a glass of water. The size of the cup depended on the size of the child.

On the whole, experts say you should drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water a day. So a 60-pound child should drink at least 30 ounces of water. That’s almost four 8-ounce cups a day.

How is everyone’s sleep schedule in your family? We all have an internal clock that keeps track of when we go to sleep and when we wake up. It’s called our circadian rhythm and it functions best when we live on a consistent sleep schedule.

Most people experience an energy dip in the afternoon and can benefit from a nap — adults and kids too. If you find your family dragging and want more energy for everyone, consider setting some new sleep goals for the coming year.

Maybe you want to get more exercise but you feel as if you don’t have the time or the money to hit the gym. Consider finding a family activity that everyone enjoys. It could be as simple as heading outside to shoot a few hoops or take a family walk before you plop in front of the TV for the night.

Sadly, less than 10 percent of people in 2017 reported that they were successful in achieving their resolutions. One way to help your family succeed is to make it part of your family culture. Keep learning together. Watch health documentaries on Netflix together. Keep reading and learning and sharing what you learn. If you keep your mind on your goals, you are more likely to achieve them.