With parents working long hours at the office and kids spending more time infront of the TV screens, it’s no wonder that kids nowadays are overweight and obese. Exercise is important for your family – it can increase life expectancy, lower heart risks, help control weight, and even improve school performance. When exercise feels like play, the whole family will enjoy it more and be more likely to stick with it.
Here a five ideas for family fitness that can get you all moving.
Make time to play
Set aside 30 minutes three times a week to do fun activities with your family. Make it a part of your after school or after dinner routine. If your kids are young, they might enjoy hopscotch or hide-and-seek. Kick a soccer ball around with older children. Also plan at least one family activity every weekend. It can be as simple as taking little ones to the playground or as challenging as an all-day hike with your teenager.
Walk or bicycle everywhere you can
Use muscle power: bike or walk to the grocery store, library or to your child’s school or sporting events. There are men’s, ladies and kids bikes for sale at very affordable prices. Go for a 30 minute family walk after dinner instead of heading right for the television. Track everyone’s mileage or steps with a pedometer and try to add more distance every week. Use a family exercise log or a colourful chart with stickers to track progress. Put your log or chart on the refrigerator as a reminder to keep up the good effort together.
Plan active family gatherings
Serve up family fitness as well as cake at your child’s birthday party by planning active games such as tag or relay races. Older kids might enjoy a dance party. Any large gathering of kids is also a great opportunity to play a team sport. Just head to a nearby soccer field or netball court. Other active party ideas includes a pool party, ice skating, or indoor rock climbing and the list go on.
Sing and dance while you clean
Set aside time for household chores and do them together as a family. Play music as you clean, and take turns choosing favourite songs. Younger children love to help out and can pick up toys or sweep floors while dancing with the broom. Older kids can dust, vacuum, and help make beds.
Make backyard work less of a chore and more of a family exercise
Cleaning isn’t just something that mom handles. Every member of the family should pitch in.
Enjoy seasonal yard work together. Younger children can help plant and tend the garden. Older kids can rake leaves into a pile and then jump in it.