How To... Beat Family Fatigue
Do you feel like your family needs a major energy boost? If your family’s jam-packed schedule and carpool routine has given everyone a major case of the blahs, check out these 10 ways to keep your family energized all day.
Step 1: Eat breakfast
Studies have shown that people who skip breakfast not only eat more overall, but also feel a big energy drop as the day progresses. If time is short, whip up a fruit and veggie smoothie using fruit juice and a variety of fruits and veggies.
Hillary Feerick and Jeff Hillenbrand, creators of the Mitch Spinach children's book series, say their kids love starting the morning with a smoothie. "We add everything from nuts and seeds to spinach and broccoli and mango and berries."
Step 2: Stay hydrated
Did you know that the first sign of dehydration is fatigue? Most experts recommend 8 glasses of water per day, however that can be more depending on how active you are and the type of climate you live in. Keep water bottles handy, as well as fruit juices and other healthy drinks to encourage your family to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Step 3: Miss the bus – on purpose
Find opportunities to stay moving - even if that means missing the school bus (on purpose) to walk to school. "Walk with your kids to school (just make sure they are dressed for the weather); this exercise bumps up energy and endorphins in kids of all ages!" says Andrea Metcalf, author of Naked Fitness.
Step 4: Stay energized with healthy snacks
Focus on your family eating a small and healthy snack every couple of hours to keep energy high. "Whether you're picking the kids up from school, driving them to practice or just running errands after a long days work... keep a variety pack of nutrition bars in the car," says fitness expert PJ Stahl, MA, CSCS. "These healthy food options are great as a snack for the whole family between events to keep your energy levels up and it will keep you away from unhealthy fast food options."
Step 5: Take a class together
Take a class that the entire family can enjoy, such as rock climbing, scuba diving or yoga.
"One of the things we do as a family is all of us are in Kung Fu," says Patricia Walters-Fischer. "The girls take the class prior to us so they see us active as well. At this time, our 7 year old, my husband and I are blue belts and our 5 year old is a yellow striped belt.
Step 6: Go for a walk after dinner
After dinner is over and dishes are put away, reconnect with nature and your family by taking a walk after dinner. You will be surprised at how refreshed and energized you feel.
"As a mom and certified personal trainer, it is important for me and the family to stay active. On nice evenings, after dinner, we go out for a fun bike ride or walk. Often our walks will involve looking at the various types of birds you find in Central Park," says Reyna Franco.
Step 7: Dance away fatigue
"Crank up the tunes and turn your home into a kid-friendly dance club," says Jessica Ashley, Yahoo! Shine senior editor. "Show the little ones your favorite moves and have them try to out-silly-dance each other."
Step 8: Think positive thoughts
"Maintain a positive atmosphere in your home. Nothing drains the energy out of a home more than a negative cloud," says Beverly Solomon, creative director of musee-solomon.
Step 9: Avoid high sugar, empty calorie snacks
Nothing will send your blood sugar and energy level dropping faster than a high-sugar food, such as doughnuts, cakes or candy. Stock up on whole grain crackers, fresh fruit, vegetables or a handful of walnuts or almonds for healthy, high energy snack.
Step 10: Maintain a regular sleep schedule
Our bodies work most efficiently when we maintain the same sleep schedule each day. Try to get the family to go to bed and get up around the same time each day (which can be a challenge on the weekends) to beat the mid-afternoon drowsiness. Don't discount the power of a quick 5 or 10 minute nap to help you feel refreshed!
More ways to raise a healthy family
For more ways to get your family moving, check this out: