We are driven by our demanding work schedules, family obligations, personal responsibilities, and busy social commitments. Strangely enough, busy lives often lead to inactivity and our health suffers as a result. Busy schedules should not be the reason we are not active, but rather, they should create opportunities to help us become more active for ourselves and our family.
Give yourself permission to go out and do something fun with your family because you deserve it! Whatever you do, make sure it’s fun and take along the whole family. Work and other commitments are already on the calendar so put some fun and relaxation there too.
Increased physical activity is associated with an increased life expectancy and decreased risk of many diseases and health problems. In other words, a longer and healthier life! There are also some benefits that may appeal to kids’ competitive nature and desire to do their best.
Follow these tips to add more activity to your family’s busy schedule.
- Start small. Begin by introducing one new family activity and add more when you feel everyone is ready. Take the dog for a longer walk, play another ball game, or go to an additional exercise class.
- Turn off the TV! Set a time limit on viewing TV and playing video games. Instead of a TV show, play an active family game, dance to favorite music, or go for a walk.
- Plan ahead and track your progress. Write your activity plans on a family calendar. Let the kids help in planning the activities. Allow them to check it off after completing each activity.
- Include work around the house. Involve the kids in yard work and other active chores around the house. Have them help you with raking, weeding, planting, or vacuuming.
- Treat the family with fun physical activity. When it is time to celebrate as a family, do something active as a reward. Plan a trip to the zoo, park, or lake to treat the family.
- Include other families. Invite others to join your family activities. This is a great way for you and your kids to spend time with friends while being physically active. Plan parties with active games such as bowling or an obstacle course, sign up for family programs at the YMCA, or join a recreational club.
Physical Activities to Do With Your Children: