October 5, 2010

31 Days to Stronger Families: October is Family Health Month!

Here at bene-fit, we celebrate national health-related months with gusto - making sure to give you the most up-to-date information about what's going on and what's relevant to your world.  That's why we're so excited to join up with the great folks over at SparkPeople (a great resource for calorie logs, healthy recipes, and much more) to spread the word that October is Family Health Month!

Whether your family consists of a whole bunch of kids or just you and a well-loved canine or feline companion, Family Health Month is a great time to get on track with a healthy lifestyle - making small changes just once a day!  To help you do it, SparkPeople created a cute and printable daily health calendar to post on your refrigerator and help you observe the month in some really fun, creative ways.

For example, check out today's (October 5) tip: Buy some small pieces of equipment to keep around the house.  Encourage your kids to exercise during TV commercials, and stretch before bed each night.  bene-fit challenges you to go even further - join your kids!  Even without any equipment, making a habit of doing sit-ups or jumping jacks during a commercial break is a great way to make TV time less sedentary - and doubling up with a healthy TV snack of carrots and low-fat ranch or sugar snap peas and hummus turns family time into a serving of health!

Since bene-fitters love their sleep, we're extra excited for October 20th: Establish a bedtime routine.  Sometimes the hardest part of the day isn't waking up - it's getting to bed at a reasonable hour!  Run a hot bath, read a magazine or chapter of a book, perform a few nighttime yoga stretches, and most importantly - enforce your bedtime.  Whether adults or children, everyone appreciates an energetic, lively day that can only be the product of a full, undisturbed night of sleep.

Finally, check out the wise words of October 31st: Lead by example.  This may be the most effective way to teach anyone anything. Explain why you choose to order the garden burger and why you work out. Kids are sponges for knowledge!  And yet again - as a central part of the bene-fit philosophy - we believe that role modeling (more so than nagging, yelling, begging or forcing) is the best way to help someone else change their behavior, whether young or old.  Put down the remote, pick up the jump rope, skip the butter-laden mashed potatoes when cooking dinner, or pick up a bag of salad to add color to your table.  The small examples can often be the most profound when trying to establish healthy habits in your household.

We've only got 26 days left of Family Health Month - so start making health a priority for you and your family today and watch the bene-fits grow as you do.

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