Keeping the Family Fit with Fun Over the Holiday

It’s so common to view holiday feasting as a fantastic event, but one that often results in dreaded weight gain. It doesn’t have to be that way for your family! There are ways to have fun eating and burning calories, and keeping you happy and healthy during and after the holiday festivities.

Before the Blast Off

A great way to charge up everyone’s appetite is to take an early-day walk or run. Check to see if there are any Family Fun Runs in your area. It’s a terrific way for everyone to be together and get some exercise before becoming eating machines.

Another thing that’s beneficial about participating together in a morning activity is that it lends to mutual conversation later in the day. “Wasn’t it funny when Joey ran past the finish line and didn’t know the race was over?”

Movin’ and Groovin’ Before and After

If you’re already an active family, then you’ve probably got a lot of the usual activities on your list. Before (or after) the travel, cooking, or eating, you can take a group bike ride, play some ultimate Frisbee, flag-football, volleyball, or tennis, to name a few sports. These activities require a minimum amount of equipment but pack a large punch of fun.

Getting the body moving is what matters most. Any exercise is beneficial. If you’re in a cold or snowy area, your outdoor playtime might be limited; however, you may have access to other activities like snowshoeing, skiing, and sledding.

Indoors you can indulge in a classic game of Twister, play ping-pong, volleyball with a balloon, practice some yoga, freeze dance, or musical chairs. There really is no end to the fun you can have with your group as long as you keep it playful. It’s not a time for competition; it’s about sharing the joy of movement and amusement.

During Mealtime Be Mindful

Sure, everything is incredibly delicious. Especially that wacky strawberry marshmallow ambrosia. Oh, and that chocolate pecan pie. And we can’t forget those candied yams! It’s definitely not a day to deny yourself. However, you don’t need to engorge in order to enjoy.

In fact, you’ll most definitely feel better afterwards (body and mind) if you ate in moderation. Be mindful of everything you’re putting in your mouth. Normally, you may not intake as much sugar. It’s OK to allow yourself a day off. But, remember that your body will have a reaction to what you put in it.

These types of feasts are a great way to model mindful eating for our children. Take a little of everything if you like it all. But your plate doesn’t need to be piled-up, mile-high. One small scoop of mashed potatoes will be just as satisfying as if you took six. And then go ahead, add a little gravy.

If your family practices healthy eating and exercise as conscious, daily, lifestyle choices, then “the holidays” won’t eat you alive. You will automatically be more mindful of what you eat, how much, and how you’ll work in some movement before or after. And the best part is that you won’t feel denied, but rather treated. Here’s to being thankful for family —and cheat days! Check out Thrive for more family fun tips!

 

Is Being an Older Mom a Good Thing?

Society, for centuries, has dictated that young couple meets, gets married, and directly starts a family. Times have changed, especially in the past couple of decades in the US; women are becoming moms later in life. And it turns out it’s a good thing—for mom and baby!

Hey, Old Lady!

One of the most recently discovered perks associated with having a child later in life is longevity. Women who had their first baby after the age of 25 were over 10% more likely to live until 90 years old.

Twenty-six years old is not considered “later in life” to many Americans, but globally, it may be considered old. The study from the Women’s Health Initiative examined data extracted from over 25,000 women. Another discovery from that research showed that women who had two or more children tended to outlive those who had only one.

A different study published a few years back showed even more promising results for “older” moms. That particular researched claimed that women who had children after the age of 33, were two times as likely to live to be in their late 90’s!

The Sweet Spot

Surely having your first child at the age of 44 is going to come with great risk, even with the incredible medical care we have today. Regardless, a study out of Sweden contends that the benefits outweigh the risks for the outcome of the child in cases where the mom is between 35 and 40.

The Millenium Cohort Study out of the United Kingdom also discovered advantages to older parenting. Women who had their first child between the ages of 30 and 39 had offspring who scored higher on intelligence tests than children of first-time mothers in their 20’s.

Perks for the Baby

Women who are older tend to have settled into their careers or at least have completed some form of higher education. Their children are statistically more likely to go to college.

The children are also more likely to read for pleasure and have a larger vocabulary. It could be because the moms have more time to spend with baby. Mom can devote more of herself toward nurturing early education, playtime, and other activities.

Having had more experience on earth—and socializing—older moms often have stronger support networks. They’ve had time to bond and build solid friendships. Additionally, they’re apt to have like-minded friends who’ve also waited to have their first child. Either that or their support group has already had children and can be of help and guidance.

With age, hopefully, our earning capacity increases. Statistics claim that older moms tend to have more expendable income. This works out well for mama and child. Mom can provide feasibly for baby as well as indulge in extracurricular activities.

Of course there are exceptions, but generally, mature women make healthier life choices—especially when they’re pregnant. The best outcome is a fit mom and a child whose outlook in life is positive and healthy. Surely, great moms appear at any age. But if you’re older and are concerned that that’s a detriment, you can ease your concerns… It’s all good!

 

The Truth Behind Why You Don’t Exercise

The truth about why you’re not sticking to your exercise program is different than what you think.

Exercise Excuses, Excuses

You made a plan to get in shape. You have a schedule and a routine set up. But, you don’t stick to it. Why not? Are you feeling tired, sick, overwhelmed? Or is the truth glaring at you, and you don’t want to admit it? That’s right. The honest reason why you’re not exercising is because you are choosing to do something else. Yep, right again.

If your Pilates class is at 6pm, but you’re forced to work late, you can’t use that as an excuse. You can exercise afterwards, instead of going home and perusing social media. Your choice. If your alarm rings at 5am so you can get to the gym and you turn it off, what gives? You miss the workout because you chose to sleep.

There is no judgment here. Your choices are your own and sometimes the best ones for your body. Missing a day of exercise is not the end of the world. Claiming that other things get in the way of your workouts may be true, but they’re not excuses. They are choices.

Getting to the Core

You’re choosing other activities—besides exercising—for particular reasons. Look within and figure out why something else on your list is trumping that walk around the lake like you planned. Does the other thing seem easier? More fun? Whatever the reason, in your mind, the other choice seems more appealing.

Take Action

You know that exercise benefits us in a multitude of ways. You’ve already made a deal with yourself to partake more often, even steadily. So now follow through and keep your promise to your body and yourself. Here are some tools you can use to get back on track…

1) Remind yourself how good you feel after a workout.

2) Set up a healthy reward for yourself after you exercise. This could be leisure time watching a show, treating yourself to a low-sugar dessert, or putting a dollar in your “workout jar” to save for a rainy-day purchase.

3) Find friends or an online group that supports you and your exercise program. Most everyone experiences the same angst, and we need the village.

4) Remind yourself that exercise is positive. Get your mindset into the groove that working out is awesome. Forget complaining. “I love to exercise” should be your mantra.

5) Hold yourself accountable. Be your own parent without rebelling. Remind yourself that you made a great deal and that sticking to it will reap great rewards!

No doubt it’s a challenge to stay on the exercise path. Sure enough, before long, your program will become a habit—and an amazingly positive one at that. Just remember, your health is really all you have, and exercising is essential to maintaining that.  Onward!

Check out www.GetThrive.com for more helpful articles on fitness, exercise, and good health.