The more time you spend dedicating to your health, the more productive and happier you are. There are endless amounts of research that proves this. What does this mean? This means focusing on 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night, eating a diet of 80% whole food (meat, veggies, rice, fruit, nuts, seeds, oils etc.), exercising regularly, getting outside and drinking plenty of water. In our society, we are always on the go. And many times, we don’t make time for our health. If you’re one of these people, you’re not your best. You’re not as good as you could be at your job, at school, at home with your family etc. We all have friends and family members that are in this situation. They say, “I don’t have time to sleep, cook, or exercise”. Well, I’m here to tell you that you might not think you have the time, but you do. If being healthy is a priority, you will make it one. You will take an hour out of your day every day to focus on some aspect of your health. I wanted to write a blog about how to help friends and family members live a healthier lifestyle. So, without any further rambling here are the top 5 ways to help friends and family members live a healthier lifestyle.
- Be the Example
This is number one for a reason. Whether you’re a fitness professional or just a person who wants to help your friends and family become their best selves, you MUST be the example. This starts with your daily actions. Being consistent with sleep, nutrition and exercise shows. It shows in your attitude, mood, energy, focus, productivity and more. If you are healthy and feeling great, people will notice.
Even if you’re not a trainer/nutrition coach, there is an abundance of incredible information about becoming healthier and more fit. One of the best things you can do for friends and family members is to connect them with coaches and people that you trust and respect. Whether that is talking to them about hiring a coach, following informative social media accounts or just listening to a trusted podcast about health and fitness. These are all very positive ways to educate your friends and family members about being healthier.
- Don’t Be Forceful
One of the worst things you can do when attempting to help a friend or family member live a healthier lifestyle is being forceful. One of the best things you can do is listen. Listen to them talk about their relationships with things like exercise and nutrition. Give advice when it is called for and be sincere about it. Sharing the positive impact healthier choices has had on your life in more ways than just looking better is a great place to start. Some truth and education are great but, refer back to number one always. True change has to come from within. When someone truly wants to feel better, you’ll know. Trying to force a bunch of changes at once will inevitably lead to the person falling off the wagon and potentially having detrimental health consequences down the road.
- Be Active Together
Scheduling time to do activity with friends and family is an incredible way to connect and help each other become more fit and healthy. Doing a nightly walk, hitting the gym together, going for hikes, WHATEVER. Schedule time with the person (or people) and don’t even talk about fitness or health. Use it as a way to communicate and bond while you’re being active.
- Cook Together
Just like doing activity together, schedule times every week when you’re going to prepare a health meal together. Again, this can be one meal per week to start out. Then two meals per week. Then when the person starts to put together that making better food choices improves their total quality of life, you’ll be prepping food more regularly. The act of being present and cooking a meal with a friend or family member doubles as great for physical health (because you’re eating nutritious foods) but is also incredible for emotional and spiritual well-being.
Bonus: ALWAYS BE SUPER SUPPORTIVE
When you know someone in your life needs to take their health more seriously, they probably know it too. When they decide that they are ready to take that step, be supportive of their goals. Help them to realize that fat loss is great, but it does take time and consistency to truly be the healthiest version of you in all aspects. Remind them to make healthy living a lifestyle versus taking the fad dieting, fat burner/detox tea “quick fix” approach just to temporarily lose weight.