Fun Ideas to Include in Your Family Fitness Program
05 Nov 2012
Why Exercise is Important
Whether it’s taking a family walk after dinner or playing Frisbee in the park, exercise is important for your family. Exercise can increase life expectancy, lower heart risks, help control weight, and improve school performance. Most importantly, making family fitness part of your children’s life at an early age will help teach them how to form healthy habits.
Creating a family fitness program is a great way to spend time with your family and to create stronger bonds with your children. As a parent, it’s your job to make kids see that exercise is fun. When exercise feels like play, your whole family will enjoy it more and be more likely to stick with it later on in life. It’s up to you to choose the activities that are right for you and your family. As a parent, you are a powerful role model; if you find ways to stay active, your kids will follow your lead.
Family Fitness Plan
A family fitness plan does not need to complicated or strenuous. Realistically, it signifies a new commitment to adding more activity to your family’s everyday routine. The important thing about having a fitness plan is sending the message to your children that physical activity is a fun, healthy habit that makes you feel good. Incorporating small but significant changes into your daily routines can also make a big difference. Easy, yet crucial, lifestyle changes include stocking up on fruits and vegetables, limiting the amount of time spent in front of the television, and cutting out beverages sweetened with sugar.
Set aside 30 minutes three times a week to do fun exercises with your kids. These activities can include kicking a soccer ball around the yard or going to the playground after school. Try to also plan at least one family activity every weekend, such as an afternoon bike ride. Normal household chores can be turned into fun activities. Play music, sing, and dance while you clean. Younger children can also help plant and tend a garden. Shoveling snow can be turned into a fun activity by building a snow fort.
The key to getting your kids to move is to make it enjoyable. Get younger children to play games like hopscotch, hide and seek, or dodge ball. Most kids can’t wait to beat mom and dad at a sport or contest, so turn activities into family competitions. Doing these activities will not only get the whole family moving, but it will give you the opportunity to work towards a common goal that benefits the entire family. Your involvement is an important component of instilling healthy values in your kids.