Family life

Healthy Me Week: Take the seven-day challenge

Senior editor Tracy Chappell and her family are attempting to instill some better habits for Healthy Me Week.

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The cast of The Next Step show off their moves to kids. Photo courtesy of Companies Committed to Kids.

I’ve written before about how my family as a whole is not always the most active bunch, but I’m also keen to try to turn that around. And there’s nothing like a challenge to spark a little competitive, yet cooperative, spirit.

That’s why I’m proud that Today’s Parent is one of the many fantastic sponsors of Healthy Me Week, a Canadian initiative to help promote healthy, active living among families. The official kick-off was yesterday morning, and I was excited to see the support offered up by such big names as Olympian Mark Oldershaw, the Honourable Kellie Leitch (paediatrician and Minister of Labour and Status of Women), the cast of Family Channel’s The Next Step (which made me seem very cool to my kids), and the official mascot of the Toronto Raptors.

But even better than that, school kids from around the Toronto area were invited to join the launch, participating in some awesome activities, like a grocery cart challenge, dancing with The Next Step cast, pledging to make specific healthier choices, and drills from the NBA Fit program. The purpose? To encourage kids (so they can encourage their friends and family members) to “Get Up, Fuel Up, and Own Up” for Healthy Me Week and beyond.

But it’s always good to start with baby steps, right? So my family is taking the seven-day challenge, with a different healthy goal each day. Yesterday was Muscle-up Monday and I challenged my family to a push-up contest! And I’m pretty proud to say that I won (thank you, bootcamp!). The kids thought it was a lot of fun.

Here’s what’s up the rest of this week:
Try-it Tuesday: Inject something new—a healthy food or activity you haven’t tried before. I am going to hit the grocery store on the way home and be adventurous.

Walking Wednesday: Walk somewhere you usually drive, or take an after-dinner stroll. I’ve been intending to start a new habit of getting up early enough on weekdays to go for a brisk walk. Wednesday, I will begin this (Anna has told me to wake her up because she wants to join me!).

Take Control Thursday: Use something we already love and incorporate it into an activity. I’m thinking kitchen dance party.

Fuel-Up Friday: Check in on our weekly meal plan to make sure we’re hitting all the food groups and getting enough servings of veggies every day.

Shut-eye Saturday: Go to bed early! I admit I’m doing better at this lately, since starting my early-morning bootcamp class (I’m too tired to keep up if I stay up late). But adults should be getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night, and kids eight to 12 (I’d say aim for at least 10, not eight!).

Super you Sunday: Celebrate a week of healthier habits, but this is where it gets tricky—it can’t stop here. It’s time to turn some of these small changes into new family habits. That’s my plan. My kids deserve to grow up with these things as part of their normal, everyday life.

Learn more at healthymeweek.ca. You can start the seven-day challenge anytime!

Follow along as Today’s Parent senior editor Tracy Chappell shares her refreshingly positive take on parenting her two young daughters. She’s been blogging her relatable experiences for our publication since 2005. Read more of her Tracy’s mama memoir posts and tweet her@T_Chappell.