- Family wellness is based around physical, intellectual, occupational, social, emotional, and spiritual wellness.
- Wellness looks different for all ages, but is always centered around routine and balance.
- Getting kids involved helps to promote the idea of family wellness and encourages it for years to come.
Family Wellness Programs
Family health and wellness is the glue that holds a family together. There are many ways that a family can encourage physical and mental fitness, and one way you can promote a stable mindset in your household is by following family wellness programs.
Family health and wellness programs look different for all different age ranges, but how to build a wellness program for family health is always based on consistency, balance, and getting active. No matter what age you are, those things will benefit you.
Let’s take a closer look at what health and wellness looks like for a few different age ranges (1):
For children ages 0-12 years old, health and wellness should be centered around improving general wellbeing and vitality. This means improving hand/eye coordination, improving allergies, digestive issues, and sleep problems, and balancing emotions.
For people 13-25 years old, health and wellness should be focused on the rapidly growing body, which means maximum engagement in all developmental areas. There’s a lot going on during this phase of life, which means that wellness should surround building confidence, balancing hormones and emotions, getting in shape, and reducing stress.
26-35 year olds still have a lot of energy to use, but not everyone in this category knows where to place that energy. To maintain a good health and wellness schedule, this age group should focus on staying active or continuing their involvement in sports, improving focus and drive, tending to specific health conditions, reducing stress, and increasing flexibility.
People who are between the ages of 36-50 are at a major crossroads for their health. The body doesn’t respond quite in the way that it used to starting at this period, which means that health and wellness programs are more important than ever. Programs that focus on maintaining and improving physical fitness, rebounding from health conditions, recovering from injuries, maintaining and improving flexibility, and staying at a healthy weight.
Family Wellness Tips
There are six dimensions of family wellness, and those include the components of physical, intellectual, occupational, social, emotional, and spiritual wellness (2). By modifying these behaviors, we have a certain degree of control over our lives.
In order to get a better handle on these components of family wellness, check out these family wellness tips:
The first of the five family wellness ideas is to cook with your children. If you choose to make dinner with your family over picking up takeout or microwaving something at least once a week, it will give you and your family a chance to eat healthier, catch up, and just talk. You can even teach your kids about math and science throughout the cooking process! Cooking a homemade meal also brings along a sense of satisfaction, and you can even start a family tradition by doing this.
Another family wellness example is to set aside time each week for a ‘family night.’ This is when you and your family can plan to do an activity together - whether that activity is a board game (through board games, children can learn valuable life skills and hone their problem-solving abilities and creative prowess), backyard camping (this is one of our favorite summer family wellness tips), art hour, or a family slumber party.
Holding regular family meetings is another great way to encourage family wellness. This allows children to be a part of the decision-making process, and family meetings allow you to map out the week regarding meals, chores, activities, rules, and consequences.
Poring through scrapbooks and photo albums is a wonderful bonding experience for a family. You can reminisce over shared memories and see how much you’ve all grown over the years - taking a step back in time is also a great stress reliever.
The last family wellness tip is to volunteer with your loved ones. You can easily find opportunities in your town or neighborhood where you can volunteer as a family. You won’t only grow closer, you’ll also improve your community while you’re at it.
Family Wellness Activities
Practicing family wellness training at home can help you and your children in a variety of different ways. It can build resilience and give you better tools to respond to stress, it can help to prevent disease and boost the immune system, and it can reinforce the lessons that children learn in school and create a well-rounded and seamless learning environment. Keeping your family engaged in family wellness activities gets you moving, boosts your health, and encourages an environment that is conducive to learning (3).
Some of the most impactful health and wellness activities for families focus on movement and play. Encouraging your kids to get active doesn’t just help their physical body, it can be a huge aid to their mental health as well. A few great ways that you can get the whole family moving is by doing yoga - practicing techniques helps to build strength and flexibility, and also can reduce stress. You can also have fun by playing hopscotch, jumping rope, hosting family races, and much more.
A family wellness activity that you can’t go wrong with is simply playing. Playing is what helps children’s imaginations grow, and it’s especially enjoyable for them when their parents join in. A few ideas for activities that encourage your children to play are: Doing a nature scavenger hunt, creating sensory play with sand, play-doh, or other materials from the kitchen, and pretend-playing by making up entertaining scenarios from everyday life.
There’s no doubt that healthy eating is a major component of family wellness, but there are activities that you can do to make this (sometimes difficult) task fun. Activities like creating a taste testing station for your children so they’ll try out new foods, getting creative with how you prepare meals, and arranging the plate in amusing designs go over great with kids.
Family Wellness Plan
For some families, it’s necessary to create a family wellness plan in order to keep up with the family wellness regimen. What is a family wellness plan, you ask? A family wellness plan is basically what steps that your family is going to take to complete a goal (or goals). Whether the goals are surrounding mindfulness, eating habits, or fitness habits is up to you and your crew.
A good example of family wellness plan success comes from a plan that is decided upon collectively (4). To make this happen, you can ask each of your family members to write down what they’re concerned about with their health, then discuss those concerns. From there, you can all brainstorm a plan that will contribute to each family member’s goals, getting input from everyone. It helps to assign duties and responsibilities for each member of the family to get closer to achieving each goal - a good family wellness plan sample is where one person might be in charge of making balanced meals, one might be responsible for coming up with a fitness activity, and one might be responsible for thinking up a bonding experience for the family.
Planning your meals as a family is important. To maintain overall wellness, physical fitness should be a part of your goals. To encourage healthy eating, you can tweak recipes, limit portion sizes, and purge all the unhealthy food from your home.
Plan an exercise program that coincides with everyone’s needs and abilities. Make sure to schedule the exercise at a time that works for everyone so it’s an enjoyable way to spend time together and reduce stress as a unit. To keep up the momentum, create both personal and family incentives for your team to strive towards.
Maintaining a realistic goals timeline for your family wellness plan is key. To make sure that everyone is on a pace that makes sense for them, you can schedule regular meetings to discuss how the wellness routine is going for each person.
Family Wellness Products
Quality family wellness products aren’t hard to come by - you just have to know what to look for. Sometimes, these products come along with a family wellness membership, but that isn’t always the case.
Depending on what sector of wellness that your family is focusing on, you can choose from a myriad of different products to help you on your journey. On the physical side of things, having all of the right equipment is a major asset to remaining on the upward track of your fitness plan. If you plan on practicing yoga, we recommend having a quality yoga mat, a yoga block, and the right kind of clothes to exercise comfortably in. If building muscle is what you’re after, investing in a pair of dumbbells might be your best bet. But if you prefer to get your sweat on at the gym rather than at home, there are plenty of family wellness machines there to work out on.
Eating healthy is another key component of family wellness, and healthy food products can be some of the most intimidating to families who aren’t used to eating as healthily as they should. Our biggest tip for wellness food products is to make sure that your family is eating a colorful diet. This means lots of green vegetables (and orange, yellow, purple, and brown ones too), in-season fruit, healthy fats, and grains. Steer clear of the artificially-colored treats and keep your focus on the colors that nature created to ensure that your family gets the most nutritious diet possible.
As for mindfulness, there are plenty of apps that you can use to help you find the right headspace. Whether you use a daily affirmation app, a guided meditation app, or an app that helps you track your moods is up to you. It’s your wellness journey, which means that you’re the one behind the wheel.
- "FAMILY WELLNESS PROGRAMS FOR ANY AGE." Awakenings Health, awakeningshealth.com/family-wellness-programs-for-any-age/.
- Neeley, Melissa. "Family Wellness." Purdue Global, 18 Dec. 2012, www.purdueglobal.edu/blog/psychology/family-wellness/.
- "Healthy Activities to Do at Home." Action For Healthy Kids, www.actionforhealthykids.org/healthy-activities-to-do-at-home/.
- Ekback, Colleen. "Develop A Family Wellness Plan In 5 Easy Steps." LifeTrack Counseling, www.lifetrackcounseling.com/blog/develop-family-wellness-plan-5-easy-steps.
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