You'll all benefit because regular physical activity can:
- Control weight;
- Build strong bones and prevent bone loss;
- Improve sleep;
- Relieve depression;
- Decrease risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure;
- And improve quality of life at all ages.
It may sound impossible to add even more things into your busy family schedule. Try keeping a log of each family member's daily activities for one week. You'll get an idea of when you might be able to get everyone together for physical activity. It can also help you see which activities you can cut back on, like screen time. Make it a habit to park a bit further from school or church and walk the rest of the way. Remember, active parents raise active children. Set an example and make fitness a priority for you and your family.
As kids get older, the appeal of the playground fades and the lure of electronic devices gets stronger. It can be hard for them to get an hour of physical activity each day if they don't take part in P.E. or sports. While an hour each day might sound like a lot of time, there are many ways to build activity into your family routine. Even smaller blocks of 15 or 20 minutes will add up.
Here are some family activity ideas:
Enjoy the great outdoors. Take a walk or ride your bicycle. Put up a basketball hoop in the driveway or play catch in the yard. Head to the park with the dog or a soccer ball.
Redicover your inner child. Try a pillow fight or squirt gun battle. Have a dance party and take turns playing DJ.
Replace screen time. Instead of heading right for the TV or computer after dinner, make that your active family time. Switch up movie night with bowling or miniature golf.
Make it a friendly competition. See who can hula hoop the longest. Race to the corner store. Have a jumping jack contest. Keep track of everyone's physical activity for a month, and offer a prize to the family member who logs the most hours.
Plant a garden. Growing fruits and veggies gives your family a reason to get outside each day. It also encourages healthy eating habits.
Team up on chores. Rake leaves, shovel snow, do yard work and tackle other home maintenance projects as a family. In the end, you will have improved your home and your family's health.
Park and walk. Make it a habit to park a bit further from school or church and walk the rest of the way. Remember, active parents raise active children. Set an example and make fitness a priority for you and your family.