Busy schedule, work, school, other obligations…Although we understand the abundant benefits of physical activity on our health, according to CDC’s statistics, only 20% of us meet recommended physical activity guidelines and actually find time for some of the many ways to be an active family.
If parents practice a sedentary lifestyle, kids will probably adopt it too. Modeling a healthy life style for children can seem hard, but if you’re well informed and organized you will find plenty of health tips and ways to get that daily exercise for you and your kids.
Going to the gym for aerobic and muscle strengthening becomes a less practical option when you have kids. The free time that you do have, you probably want to spend together with your loved ones. So in order to stay healthy, you have to be a little more creative in finding ways to be active as a family, to spend precious time together and have wonderful fun!
If you are out of ideas on how to help your family to get active, here are just a few simple, practical and fun suggestions.
5 fun and easy ways to be active as a family
- Fun family outdoor activities. Whether hiking, swimming, skiing, riding a bike, having a picnic, tennis or basketball playing – there are many outdoor ways to be active as a family. Fun time you spend together doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be anything from backyard volleyball, running for charity, visiting a local animal farm to walking a nearby park.
- Do chores together. Cleaning the house, washing a car, vacuuming, weeding the garden, walking the dog. Getting kids to do chores will teach them responsibility, make them feel part of the team, as well as get them moving and away from the computer or TV.
- Family fitness classes. If fitness or a gym routine is an important part of your life and you’d like to teach your kids the habit of exercising, do it together with them. You can try special exercise classes designed for families, stroller workouts, aerobics or yoga for families, or if it’s more fun – do it at home with workouts for parents and children DVDs.
- Shop and prepare healthy food together. It’s important to mention – if healthy eating habits are created early in childhood and combined with regular physical activities, your kids have the best chances to keep practicing these habits and live a healthy lifestyle as adults. Good planning is always the smartest choice when confronted with chronic lack of time. Plan family meals for a week then go shopping together or take a walk to the farmers market. Let them pick what they like and help you cook it. The important things are to let them participate, have fun and move!
- Fun family Olympics. Singing, dancing, racing around the house, playing hula-hoops, or hosting the family’s annual competition party – these are also great ways to be active as a family. Have fun choosing teams, selecting colorful clothes for the contest and picking the grand prize. Laughter and happiness are healthy and become lovely memories long remembered!
Time flies by when you’re having fun!
The key for making daily physical activity into habit is to make it fun. Both you and your kids will benefit from staying active and have:
-fewer weight problems
-better muscle and bone structure
-stronger immune system
-reduced risk of developing diabetes
-better concentration and brain power
-better sleep at night
-more energy in general
Stay active, stay healthy and enjoy life with your family!