Happy New Year!! We are one week in – it’s still cool for me to yell that and throw confetti, right?

This is the time of the year when many people, myself included, make personal goals and resolutions to be more fit, lose weight or just be a healthier person altogether. I’m not going to lie – I had cake today…so did my kids.  Wouldn’t it be an added bonus if we expanded this goal to include our families?

According to Charlotte Business Journal, in 2014 the Queen City ranked 27th (out of the top 100 fittest cities in the US) on the American Fitness Index then plummeting to a sad 43rd place in 2015. Let’s just say when the results for 2016 come out in May of this year, I hope that we were able to climb back up the list. What did you and your family do in 2016 to be a fit family? What will you do in 2017?

I have put together a few ideas and ways to foster a fit family in and around the Charlotte Metropolitan area to help us all out and set our city on the right path for 2017:

Get outside and PLAY

According to the official county site, Mecklenburg county boasts a lofty 210 parks, some large-some small, that cover over 21,000 acres of land AND approximately 37 miles of developed greenways. All those numbers are begging for you and your family to go for a run, a nature hike, and ride a bike.  If that doesn’t sound cool, you all could challenge each other in the NFL Play60 Kidzone OR take advantage of one of the many, volleyball, tennis and basketball courts. Gather some friends and play on one of several soccer, lacrosse, or baseball/softball fields.

EAT Better

Charlotte has been crafting its foodie scene for a little while now. There are many restaurants that will cater to your specific diet need – some better than others like Burtons Grill with its very specific menus such as vegetarian, paleo and gluten sensitive.  However, we all know that the best way to eat better is to prepare healthy food at home.

You can take a cooking class with Chef Alyssa or Chef Nikki who offer various classes for the beginner chef to the more experienced, occasionally offering classes for kids. Bo th Chefs focus on using healthy, local ingredients. Better yet, just send the kids to the Flour Power Kids Cooking Studio and let them learn all the skills so that they can make a healthy meal for you!

For those of us who are frustrated by picky eaters you can take advantage of Charlotte’s love affair with the Farmer’s Market and craft a “Foreign Food Farmer’s Market Challenge”. Let me explain – a “Foreign Food Farmer’s Market Challenge” is what we call it when you visit the farmers market and peruse the aisles and stands looking for fresh foods that you have never had before. You select one and the family has to include that food in a meal.  It gets your picky eaters to eat something fresh and good for them at least that one time. You can’t hate what you have never had can you? Don’t answer that.  Anyway, it gets you to try new foods – hopefully something rich in antioxidants, beta-carotene or earth magic. Nothing but good stuff – did I mention that our city has a secret love affair with farmer markets? Click the map below to find the one nearest you.

Words VS Actions

Its easy for us to talk about what we are supposed to do to be healthier and more fit. I could write at least another paragraph about it. What is really difficult and I suspect is the reason we (we as in all the people in the Charlotte area) have fallen down on the list, is that we need to put our words into action. We have to find the time.  What will you do different to make this year more fit and fabulous for your family?