Home / Guides  / Health & Wellness Guide  / How Philly Parents Can Start Now and Stay Healthy in 2024

How Philly Parents Can Start Now and Stay Healthy in 2024

Taking the time to prioritize your well-being is crucial, so we gathered some health and wellness experts and tips to help you start now and stay healthy for the long run!

The holiday season in Philly is a time of joy, celebration, and, let’s be honest, indulgence. It’s easy to put your health on the backburner, but prioritizing a healthy lifestyle for 2024 is not just about you—it’s about setting a positive example for your kids and ensuring a strong future for your entire family.

You can embrace sustainable healthy habits with your kids by leveraging the support of the Philly Family Community. We reached out to a few our of Philadelphia Family, Main Line Parent, and Bucks County Parent Members, who support our Community, for some advice to help you get started today:

1. Set Realistic Health and Fitness Goals:

Before diving into holiday festivities, take a moment to set realistic health goals. Instead of aiming for drastic changes, focus on maintaining your current health and fitness levels. Setting achievable goals will help you stay motivated without feeling overwhelmed.

“It is all too easy to set wellness goals that put you squarely in to the all-or-nothing mentality. A place where one failure can lead to quitting. I often guide my clients to think about their goals with this re-frame: There is a “perfect world” version of what you can get done in a day and then there is the “real world” version. While it can feel inspiring to make plans to be perfect, the reality is that some days you’ll just be getting by. It is important to set goals for those days so that you can maintain your momentum and create consistent habits.”

– Beth Auguste MS RDN, Be Well With Beth

2. Prioritize Quality Sleep:

As you prioritize your habits, it’s crucial not to compromise on sleep. Lack of sleep can affect your mood, energy levels, and overall health.

“Limit technology for an hour before bedtime. If you’re reading, which is a great thing to do before bedtime, use a paper book. Electronic devices like iPads, smartphones and computers emit blue light. This can be problematic before bed because blue light interferes with melatonin production, causing the brain to think it is still daytime. If you must use your devices, wearing blue-blocking lenses about 90 minutes before bedtime or using an app on your device that blocks blue light can help reduce your exposure to blue light.”

– Dr. Seema Bonney, Anti-Aging & Longevity Center of Philadelphia

You can find more tips to improve sleep from Anti-Aging & Longevity Center of Philadelphia here.

3. Embrace Healthy Eating Habits:

Philadelphia is a culinary hub with diverse food options, but it’s important to make mindful choices for your family’s well-being. Planning weekly menus and experimenting with healthy recipes can turn mealtime into a fun and educational family activity.Choose nutrient-dense foods prioritizing protein, fiber, and healthy fats with to balance out treats.

“All too often we eat without noticing. So then we eat more so we can taste more. The best time to experiment with mindful eating is when you are eating something delicious. Take a seat with a yummy dessert or a hot drink. Feel the texture on your tongue. Notice how the flavor lingers. Savor the moment. You may find that you get more joy from that treat than you knew!”

– Beth Auguste MS RDN, Be Well With Beth

Make dinner time more of a family activity with Beth’s build your dinner bowl ideas, navigating picky eaters video, and her handout to get kids involved in the kitchen.

4. Prepare for (and Minimize) Seasonal Depression:

The shorter days and gloomy weather that come with the winter months can trigger seasonal affective depression (“SAD”). If you’re feeling the winter blues, this can be an opportunity to develop greater self-awareness flex your resilience and talk ato your children.

“Try to wake up early to make the most of the daylight hours. Limited sunlight is a common cause of SAD in winter. Because the sun is up for less time, our body has fewer hours to absorb it. Waking up an hour earlier may provide more access to the minimal sunlight available. If you’re just not an early riser, consider getting a Light Box. It can be an effective way of replacing lost exposure to sunlight.”

– Dr. Courtney Liggera, Rittenhouse Women’s Wellness Center

You can find more SAD minimizing tips from Rittenhouse Women’s Wellness Center here.

5. Prioritize Physical Activity:

Philadelphia offers a plethora of fitness opportunities for families. From a family walk in Fairmount Park to joining community fitness classes, there’s something for everyone. Engaging in physical activities not only benefits your health but also fosters family bonding. Make it a goal to explore a new fitness activity every month – who knows, you might discover a shared passion for rock climbing or yoga at local studios.

“Instead of feeling the pressure to find an hour to exercise, and giving up when it gets too hard. Challenge yourself to try this “10 minute MAX” experiment. When you do this experiment you’ll discover that you truly can make a difference in your energy and wellness when all you have is a few minutes. 
How it works:For the next 10 days. Exercise for 10 minutes MAX on each or most days. The key is to truly stop at 10 minutes. By the end of the 10 days you’ll physically feel in your body that 10 minutes can be enough! “

– Beth Auguste MS RDN, Be Well With Beth

The time to start your journey towards a healthier lifestyle is now. By prioritizing your well-being and making small, sustainable changes, you are not only investing in your own health but also setting the foundation for a thriving family. Embrace the rich health and wellness opportunities that Philadelphia has to offer, and watch as your family flourishes into a happy and healthy unit. Remember, the path to a vibrant future begins with the steps you take today!

Founder & CEO, Family Focus Media | Creator for Main Line Parent, Philadelphia Family, & Bucks County Parent | Connect with me on Instagram @sarahbondfocus or email sarah@familyfocus.org.