A Healthy Plan For The Whole Family

A Healthy Plan For The Whole Family
A Healthy Plan For The Whole Family

Studies show that childhood obesity is increasing at an alarming rate, so how do you keep your kids from becoming statistics?

Each family needs to be aware of the factors contributing to this growing problem and address them as a team. Each day family members head out in many different directions but they inevitably return by bedtime, so home base is the best place to engender a healthier lifestyle for everyone in the household.

I have developed a simple, daily charting system called DEWS which has helped me lose weight and maintain better health and fitness habits. I am convinced that it can work for families as well. With just four blocks to fill in with markers, crayons or stickers, even the littlest ones can be involved and compete on a par with adults. The spirit of friendly competition can only add to the success of the plan. The charts are totaled every four weeks so monthly rewards can be added to keep the competition even livelier.

DEWS is an acronym for the four positive things each person tries to accomplish each day. It stands for Drink water, Exercise, Watch your eating, and Steer clear of ______ing _________. This last one is defined by each participant as he determines his biggest challenge. A young child probably won't have an unhealthy habit to fit the 'S' definition so a daily activity for which he is responsible, like making his bed or feeding a pet, can be substituted. There are many books and articles available by learned authors addressing these subjects in detail. I am not one of those professionals, just a regular person who tries to stay educated by reading what they write. You too will need to refer to the experts to safely define these things for your family. What I will take credit for is creating a way to live healthier and happier by being accountable on a daily basis. Utilizing DEWS correctly and honestly can be very rewarding. Filling in all four blocks at bedtime feels like getting an 'A' on a test, and filling in four or more solid days in a row is extremely gratifying. Perfection every day is not expected and will not happen. Success is defined as 85% or higher. That gives you a little leeway, about four blocks a week. And using half blocks when you've been good but not quite good enough for a full block will provide a more accurate account of your progress. More information on the plan and its success is available at my website, which is listed in the attached resource box.

With the way today's busy families are finding less and less time to spend together, touching base daily with this activity can provide a way to not only stay healthy but to share in each others lives. Strengthening family ties in this age of individual stimulation can be appreciated by those of us who grew up around the family dinner table.


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