For some families, getting exercise and doing physical activities are at the bottom of the to-do list. With the average family involved in work, school and outside interests, many times it is easier, because everyone is spent from their other activities, to relax in front of the TV. However, the tendency to just relax and skip exercise can backfire as families whose lifestyles are more sedentary and less active, lend themselves to families who become obese, which is a serious problem for the parents and for the kids, too, as they’re learning bad habits. Developing good habits and a healthy lifestyle early on is important for everyone in the family.
There are many ways to get your family more involved in physical activities which will lead to a healthier, more active and lifestyle. If you would like to increase your family’s physical activity but are unsure of where to start, the following are a few ideas:
One great way to combine exercise and fun is to play sports. It won’t feel like exercise, which helps if you have family members who view exercise as drudgery, and you’ll be burning more calories and toning more muscles than you would in the gym or just going for a jog. In addition, you’re more likely to work out longer. Some fun sports you can play as a family include basketball, kickball, touch football and soccer.
If your kids have expressed interest in playing team sports, sign them up with school or local recreation leagues. This is a great way for them to get exercise, get more involved in activities, as well as learn social and team building skills.
If you don’t have a backyard, or if yours is too small to run around in, go to a local park. You don’t need a big group of people to play either. You could play one-on-one, or break the family into small teams. You could even invite your neighbors to join as well.
Go for a bike ride
Now that summer is here and the weather is nice, you can go for bike rides with your family. Look up local trails and bike paths in your area; this is a great opportunity to explore new trails or paths and spend time as a family. Make sure you wear helmets!
Go for a walk
A great way to get your family more involved in activity is to start small: go for a walk. You can walk through neighborhoods or walking paths in your area. Pick up the pace and use your arms for added fitness benefits. You can also alternate walking and jogging, if you want, or you can push the kids in a stroller.
Take a hike
Add a little nature to your fitness routine by going on hikes with your family. This is a fun way to get outside and get active at the same time. Make sure you bring plenty of water and dress appropriately. Look on your city’s website for trails or hiking paths in your area.
The best way to introduce exercise to your family and make being active a habit is to involve your family in activities they enjoy so they won’t be bored. Participating in activities that keep them moving helps them realize physical fitness and relate it to having fun which lends itself to permanent good habits. An active family is a healthier, closer family.