3 simple ways to improve your family’s health

Getting your family healthy shouldn’t be difficult. Here’s some tips to make things easier.

Having kids doesn’t have to make it difficult to improve your health. Only 40% of Gen X with kids say it’s too hard to make healthy changes, while 54% without kids say the same thing.

Here are three simple ways to work towards better health for the whole family.

1. Get moving

  • Make active family time. Reduce the amount of sedentary activity you do as a family – for example, watching TV together. Instead, try to incorporate more physical activities like going for a walk, playing a game in the park or taking a family bike ride.
  • Work activity into your daily routine. Find ways to alter your normal routine to allow more chances for physical activity throughout the entire day. This could be in the form of active transportation, or even everyday activities like chores.
  • Move in front of the TV. Instead of lounging back while you watch TV, sit up on an exercise ball to stabilise your core and focus on your posture. You could even use the ad breaks to do a few simple abdominal exercises on the ball.
  • Play with the kids. Get involved in the kids’ games. Running around with the little ones is a fun way to get your heart racing, and their energy and enthusiasm is contagious. Same goes for playing with pets!
  • Swap Grand Theft Auto for Wii Fit. Get moving with a more active game and combine entertainment with light exercise. Even better if you play with your partner and/or the kids – a little friendly competition will get you working harder!

2. Food swaps

Creating a healthier lifestyle can be as simple as making a few small changes to your food choices each day. Here are some (easy!) swaps you can make now.

  • Swap chips for popcorn
  • Swap chocolate for dark chocolate or cacao treats
  • Swap ice cream for frozen yogurt
  • Swap vegetable oil for extra virgin olive oil
  • Swap potatoes for sweet potatoes
  • Swap couscous for quinoa
  • Swap cupcakes for banana bread
  • Swap white grains for brown
  • Swap salad dressing for vinegar and lemon juice

3. Healthy home cooking

  • Get organised. It’s easy to fall into the trap of ordering takeaway when you have no food in the fridge for dinner. Try to plan for the week ahead. Shop for the ingredients you will need for your meals and make sure you always have some staples in your kitchen.
  • Make healthier choices. Again, substitution is key! You can easily swap certain food items or cooking methods for healthier alternatives. For example, swap frying for grilling, swap butter/oil for olive oil spray, and swap oily salad dressings for home-made salad dressing using balsamic, lemon juice, herbs or mustards. If you’re over cooking by the time Friday rolls around, instead of ordering takeaway, try these healthy alternatives to fast food favourites instead. You can still enjoy a yummy pizza that’s a healthier alternative to your usual Domino’s order.
  • Focus on balance. When cooking a healthy main meal, it’s important that you get the balance of foods right. The DAA recommends that you fill one quarter of your plate with good-quality carbohydrates, one quarter with lean protein and the rest with vegetables.

Recommended reading - Issue One Spring 2012

Lifestyle

Heart the Kitchen Garden Foundation

How Stephanie Alexander is making our kids happy in the garden.

Read more
Community

The life of a pro triathlete with Brendan Sexton

Olympian triathlete Brendan Sexton on sport, injury and his favourite triathlon locations.

Read more
Lifestyle

Keep your dog’s tail wagging with Dr. Chris Brown

Dr Chris Brown's advice - Just like you, diet and exercise is key to your dog’s health and happiness

Read more
Experts

Hayfever treatment

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis afflicts up to 40% of Australians.

Read more
Experts

Tread carefully

As more and more people show interest in barefoot running, we discuss the safest way to get started.

Read more
Lifestyle

The history of the toothbrush

What gadget could you absolutely not do without?

Read more
Travel

Mind, body and soul in Tasmania

Regular mini breaks can be a refreshing, cost-effective way to recharge.

Read more
Travel

Seeking health and wellness in Thailand

 Thailand is an idyllic destination for energising travel steeped in health and wellness.

Read more
Community

How to be healthier at work

 We ask three experts for small steps to creating a healthier work environment.

Read more
Community

Working to achieve better health

People who undertake jobs that contribute to a healthier life find fulfilment in them.

Read more
Health Check

Taking your health into your own hands

It is important for us to manage our health in order to maximise our wellness and perform our best.

Read more
Experts

Busting popular food myths

Do ‘negative calorie’ foods exist? Can you blame a slow metabolism? Popular food myths busted.

Read more
Community

Heart Rate Monitor

Medibank Members Nathan and Marcele share how heart-rate monitors might be beneficial for you.

Read more
Community

Increasing activity in the workplace

Unique fitness initiatives are growing in response to our increasingly sedentary lifestyles.

Read more
Lifestyle

Becoming a pet owner

Making the decision to become a pet owner is an exciting one

Read more
Community

Body composition scales

Medibank Members Nathan and Marcele share how body composition scales can be beneficial to you.

Read more
Lifestyle

Visualising health with Sally Fitzgibbons

Professional surfer Sally Fitzgibbons tells us what she does to stay happy, healthy and inspired.

Read more
Recipes

Sticky date pancake recipe

Wind up your weekend workouts and treat yourself with these delicious sticky date pancakes.

Read more
Recipes

Ruby ginger blossom recipe

Sip on this spring inspired Ruby Ginger Blossom drink.

Read more
Recipes

Vietnamese pho soup recipe

Fresh, healthy Vietnamese Pho soup recipe you can make at home.

Read more
Experts

Does exercise make you gain weight?

Can exercise increase your appetite and lead to weight gain? We asked Associate Professor Tim Crowe.

Read more
Recipes

Asparagus, leek and pea tart recipe

Asparagus, Leek and Pea Tart is a delicious and easy dish for lunch or dinner.

Read more
Experts

Chinese medicine for the four seasons: Spring

How you can use Chinese Medicine to inspire new growth and regeneration in spring.

Read more
Experts

Celebrate health success

Food habits are tough to break but the rewards don’t go unnoticed.

Read more
Lifestyle

Farmers’ markets cultivate a changing foodscape

We’ve hand picked some of Australia’s best farmers’ markets for you to visit.

Read more
Community

Work, drive and train with Paul Dumbrell

CEO Paul Dumbrell reveals how he learnt to balance business, exercise and professional motor racing.

Read more
Community

Never lose sight of the health goal with Nicole Livingstone

Even after leaving the world of elite sport in 1996, Nicole Livingstone continues to lead by example.

Read more
Advice

A journey to better health with Anthony Field

Read about how Anthony Field (a.k.a. the Blue Wiggle) he got his Wiggle back.

Read more
Community

Hit the ground running

Learn about the benefits of minimalist running, from strengthening your feet to preventing injury.

Read more
In Brief

Jerry the Bear

Jerry the Bear is a robotic teddy bear that ‘has’ diabetes.

Read more
In Brief

Good news for rice fans

Reduce the likelihood of diabetes by incorporating rice into a low GI diet.

Read more
In Brief

Fluidity Dish Rack

The Fluidity Dish Rack is a household dish rack with a very simple but very ingenious design twist.

Read more
In Brief

Complete Food and Nutrition Companion

Catherine Saxelby’s latest book is your new nutrition bible.

Read more
In Brief

The Saltiest Chicken Nugget in the World

Alarming results from recent study on salt content in fast food.

Read more
Community

World Food Day

Get your school or workplace involved with World Food day to raise awareness for global hunger.

Read more
Health Check

Medibank Symptom Checker

A clear positive of the information age is our ability to access external knowledge and opinion.

Read more
In Brief

be. magazine spring 2012

Simple tips and advice to make a healthy transition from winter to spring.

Read more
Community

The muesli

Add The Muesli to your mornings for a healthy and delicious breakfast that will fill you up.

Read more
Lifestyle

The road to the finish line with Steve Moneghetti

Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival: 39 years of healthy living and community participation

Read more
Health Check

Medibank Energy Balancer

There are many apps around to help us make more informed food decisions.

Read more
Community

R U OK? Day

Thursday 12 September is R U OK? Day, a reminder of the life-altering impact of a conversation.

Read more

Working to achieve better health

What is it like to work in a role that directly helps people achieve better health?

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.