Getting the physical activity that you and your children need should be one of our top priorities, and it’s probably not as difficult to fit into your schedule as you might think. Here are some ideas to help you start motivating your family to get active, move more, and develop the fitness you need to be your best.
Be a good role model: It starts with you. If you make excuses, your kids will too. If they see you sit in front of the TV all night long, they will do the same thing. Once you’ve decided to do something, let your family see it. It might feel embarrassing, but get over your fears and let your kids see you trying that new workout DVD. Let your family see that your health is a priority to you, take it seriously, and they will start doing the same.
Involve your kids in your workouts: You might hate exercise, but your kids will probably think it’s fun, or at least more fun than you think it is. Sure, it is more challenging when your kid climbs on your back when you’re trying to do push ups or the runs are painfully slower than you’d want but, it is time spent together. It is time spent being active. And it is showing our kids that our health and fitness is a priority. It is teaching our kids to move their bodies and get fit.
Plan active activities: Instead of family movie night on the weekends, why not drive to a nearby park and do some walking? Other ideas include flying kites, going for a family bike ride on a nearby trail, or go for a swim at your local pool. You could also plan a family day bowling, miniature golfing, or jumping at a local trampoline park. There are many things you can find to do that can add some great quality family time to your schedule while also helping everyone get some exercise
Unwind outdoors in the evenings: This may not be an option at the moment, but when you do see that big orange thing in the sky peeking through, celebrate by turning off the TV, putting down your phone, and heading outside each night after dinner. Just a few minutes of fresh air and active play can make a huge difference for everyone in the family.
Collect outdoor active equipment: You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a fancy jungle gym and swing set, think about some more budget friendly items you can pick up to give your family some things to do outdoors. You can collect a variety of balls, bikes, roller skates, scooters, bats and gloves, and even various yard games. Don’t forget to pickup a box of pavement chalk as well.
Don’t drive everywhere: If you live in an area close to town, your school or local shops, challenge yourself and your family to walk or bike more. If the weather is OK, why not walk the mile to the restaurant instead of driving? Want to go out for ice cream? Grab your bikes and earn that ice cream.
Make household chores fun and active: Start a dance party as you work together to clean up the kitchen. Create a contest to see who can clean up the most toys the fastest. Most household chores are somewhat active already, but with a little creativity you can really amp up the fun and the calorie burn, together.
Let everyone have a voice in activities: If we’re going to get everyone involved in family fitness, we should probably let everyone choose some activities. Check in with your kids to see what kinds of activities they would enjoy. Create a balance in your family activities that includes something for everyone. You might hate bike rides, but if your kids love them, then snap on your helmet and go. But next week, you get to decide.