In my last blog post I talked about healthy eating habits to start with you and your family. To round out the discussion on leading a healthy lifestyle, I now want to discuss how to get your kids active and healthy along with the rest of the family. It is recommended to get 60 minutes of physical activity 5 to 6 days a week – that’s a lot! But I know you can get your kids (and yourselves) there if you make some effort during your everyday activities.
Here are my tips:
Change your family’s daily habits – Instead of taking the elevator or escalator, take the stairs together. Instead of finding the closest parking spot at the store, park far away. Little changes like this can add up to make a big difference if done consistently.
Exercise during your favorite TV show – Instead of fast-forwarding through commercials, let them play and get off the couch! Try running up and down your stairs, doing push-ups or jumping jacks, or running in place during commercials. Those two minute breaks during a TV show (or two) will add up to a good workout!
Better yet, ditch the TV (or tablet/computer, etc) – Instead of sitting in front of a screen, get your family moving! Go for a walk, take a bike ride (don’t forget your helmets), or play running bases or tag. Doing this with your kids will help them want to forget about their favorite electronic gadgets to spend fun active time with you.
Make a plan and get in a routine – Pick a time of day that works best for your kids and you to get active. For some people taking a walk after dinner might be a way to ensure the family gets moving. For others, you may want to set the alarm a half-hour earlier to get up and fit in some exercise in the morning. No matter when you do it, plan for it in your day and make it part of your everyday lives.
Small amounts often – You might see a trend here. All my tips involve doing little things through your day to add up to a larger time being active at the end of the day. Exercising does not have to happen all at once. If the kids are waiting for a friend to pick them up, go play catch until that happens. Take 10 minutes together to jump rope, do some jumping jacks or run in place together in the home. Whatever it is, by fitting in small activities during the day you’ll much more easily reach your activity goals.
Getting fit and staying active doesn’t have to be expensive, doesn’t need special equipment and doesn’t need to take up all your free time. Find creative ways to encourage your kids get off the couch, turn off the electronics and get moving. Good habits started earlier in life are more likely to stick later on when they are adults. Plant the seeds now and go have some fun as a family!
Enjoy this warmer weather and stay safe everyone! Don’t forget to look back at some of our older posts about staying safe around water and in the sun too. Cheers!