In the Zone: La’s Family Health & Fitness Tips

Happy First Day of Spring, everyone! I always feel like the change of season is a good reason to reevaluate my exercise and eating habits (especially with swim season right around the corner). As you know, I believe that living a truly healthy lifestyle is a family affair: As parents, we lead by example, so we can give our kids the gift of good habits that will last them a lifetime. Of course, I’ve asked my friend La for some simple tips on keeping everyone in your home on the road to wellness. —M.S.

Just the food facts: Read the labels on the food you buy and eat. As a general rule, look for products that list whole foods as the first three ingredients. Be wary of food products with a laundry list of ingredients or dubbed “sugar-free”—most of that stuff contains artificial sweeteners that you’ll want to avoid.

Cut it out: Make it simple and just say goodbye to soda and juices. Substitute sugary drinks with sparkling water infused with fresh fruit, flavored waters, and caffeine-free teas.

Snack time: Instead of chips and cookies afterschool, cut up fresh fruit and serve it with a yummy yogurt dip. Before dinner, set out sliced carrots, cucumbers, and red peppers along with guacamole or hummus so kids (and grownups) can get their recommended daily serving of veggies.

Move it, move it: Do something active every day: Take an afternoon walk around the block, have a post-dinner dance party, or play the GMA Gym Grab Bag game. Make a weekly activity plan that incorporates everyone in the family and post it on the fridge. This way kids and parents will hold each other accountable for their daily dose of exercise.

Treat yourself: When you go grocery shopping, don’t fill your cart with junk food. My theory is if it’s not in the house, you won’t be tempted to eat it. However, if you do want that special treat, then make the whole family work for it: Talk a walk to the local ice cream parlor and enjoy your guilt-free indulgence at the end of your journey.

Follow the leader: Living a healthy lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint. As parents, we need to lead by example, so start by making one healthier choice a day: Stop picking up fast food a couple of times a week, and instead, have a few healthy recipes on hand that you can easily cook at home.