A healthy lifestyle is something you have to constantly work on and improve. So cut yourself some slack and keep going!

Obesity is becoming a major problem worldwide. Here are some tips to help keep you and your family fit and healthy.

The key to getting your family to eat more healthily is introducing new habits slowly, says Nomvula Khuzwayo, a student personal trainer and fitness influencer. ‘I don’t believe in going too fast, too suddenly. If your family is expecting a pizza and you give them a salad, they’re not going to be happy.’ She adds that lunch and dinner should include a variety of vegetables.

Nomvula believes in spreading out smaller meals throughout the day, with most food consumed during the morning and afternoon so the evening meal can be lighter and easier to digest. Healthy snacks (a handful of almonds, a few carrot sticks with cottage cheese) have been shown to assist people who are trying to control their weight. Include protein and healthy fats (nuts, avocado) in snacks to help keep you fuller for longer.

Include these snacks in school (and work) lunchboxes to help remove the temptation to buy junk food. Dark chocolate (in moderate amounts) is considered a healthy snack, and has been shown to lower blood pressure and to curb sweet cravings.

Exercise is great for your health in general, and particularly for heart health. Start slowly, however – don’t try to run a marathon after a week of training – and never exercise if you are sick, as this can damage your heart. ‘Go with your children to the park and just play,’ says Nomvula. ‘If there’s a fun walk, do it as a family.’ She adds that if children see their parents enjoying exercise, they will follow eagerly.


  • Brisk walking 
  • Planking 
  • Skipping 
  • Bicep curls – you can use tins of canned food in place of dumbbells 
  • Star jumps 
  • If you have access to a pool, try water aerobics or walking in a swimming pool. 


  • Start by adding more veg and cutting down on junk food from four times a week to two, then once a week. 
  • Focus on the now, not the end goal. 
  • Do it together – it’s good to have support. 
  • Introduce fun family activities – try different things until you find those you really enjoy. 
  • Keep it simple, healthy and affordable by cooking your own meals. 

  • Nomvula’s favourites are avocado and almonds; other foods that keep hunger at bay include: 
  • Oats, a power breakfast providing protein and fibre 
  • Apples which contain fibre and water, good for between-meal snacks and school lunchboxes 
  • Pulses like chickpeas, lentils and beans provide a cheap and satisfying source of protein Eggs are a great protein source for a sustaining breakfast 
  • Tuna is packed with protein

By Anne Hahn

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