We all know it – being a parent is exhausting! And with a million things already a part of your daily routine, we can see how family fitness could be at the bottom of your list. But all things considered, working exercise into your family’s schedule is just too important to neglect. Enhanced health, extra energy, and improved physical condition are some of the main attributes of regular exercise. Studies have also shown children who exercise more, may do better academically and learn how to reduce stress.
Regular exercise can also help you balance work and family. Studies have also shown there to be a strong relationship between planned, structured, repetitive, and purposive physical activity with one’s ability to balance work and home.
Experts suggest adults engage in at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of aerobic activity each week at a moderate level, or 1 hour and 15 at high intensity. They also recommend children engage in 60 minutes of physical activity—per day!
Now that we know the importance of regular workouts, the level of intensity and how long, let’s put our personal trainer hats on and show our kids how it’s done. Here are some helpful tips on how to make physical fitness a family affair:
- 1. Set Goals – After deciding to make physical activity a family routine, it’s best to determine how you will define success. Make sure your goals are both specific and realistic. Walking 30 minutes every day for a week is an excellent example of an achievable and concrete objective.
- 2. Make It a Habit – Schedule exercise time and try your best to stick to it. A sneaky way to help form the habit is to start a 30-day, participation challenge. Even if it’s a competition, when the whole family’s exercising, everybody wins.
- 3. Buy Sports Equipment – If you want your child to work out like a champ, buy some sporting goods, play the coach, and encourage them to train like their favorite stars. Baseballs, footballs, frisbees, jump ropes are just a few options that are great for getting in shape.
- 4. Make It a Chore – Working out can be fun. It can also be a responsibility. Raking leaves, cleaning the garage, and cutting the grass all build muscles and raise heart rates.
- 5. Incorporate Technology – In today’s world, there’s an app for everything and plenty of options when it comes to exercise. Apps add excitement and track progress. A few fun and free fitness apps for families include Zombies, Run!, FitQuest Lite, and NFL Play 60.
- 6. Limit Screen Time – On the other hand taking away technology encourages kids to seek outside sources of entertainment. Take away phones, tablets, and turn off the tv after a predetermined period. Then, suggest they play with family and friends outdoors.
- 7. Have an Active Outing – Whether it be hiking, biking, kickball, or canoeing, exercise is more exhilarating when disguised as a trip. Even walking has been proven to be an excellent source of excerise.
For more information on how to make physical activity a part of your family’s routine, check out this family-based focus group study by the US National Library of Medicine.
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