Modeling a healthy lifestyle for our families is more important now than it has ever been. Today’s children get less physical activity than generations before them. This is partly due to how connected kids are to social media and to their electronics. While pulling them away from electronics may be difficult, doing so is imperative, as healthy habits start at home. Enjoying fun family exercise time is a great way to model good habits and involve your family when dieting. Check out some of the ways you can build fitness into your family’s routine.
- Walk or Run for a Charity: 5Ks and fun runs have become very popular. At any given time, you could probably find two or three runs being hosted in or near your town. These walks/runs are not only fun for the family, but they usually benefit a cause. Find a 1K, 3K, or 5K near your community that supports a cause your family can stand behind, and sign the family up. To make this more interesting, have family members team up to train together before the big event.
- Host Weekly Activities: Designate one day of the week as family sports night. Think outside the box. You may want to create a field day event in your backyard or compete against another family in a basketball game. For those who love to move and dance, consider having Friday night dance parties. To take it up a notch, play a competitive dance game (on the Wii Fit or other game consoles). If your family loves to participate in a specific sports activity, there is nothing wrong with doing the same activity every week.
- Commercial Break Exercise Challenges: Make family TV time more interesting by incorporating fitness challenges into commercial breaks. Activities can range from walking in place, jump-roping, doing ab work, or even squats. See who can get the most reps done during the commercial breaks, and let the winner pick the movie for the upcoming family movie night.
- Post-Dinner Walks: Connect with nature and get some fresh air after dinner with the family. Taking post-dinner walks not only promotes physical activity but also gives everyone another opportunity to spend quality time together. Make this more exciting by letting members of the family select the route on a rotating basis.
- Create a Fitness Calendar: To keep everyone on track, create a calendar of fitness events. Post it in a common area so that everyone in the family can add ideas to the calendar. For added motivation, mark off activities that you have completed as a family. This will give everyone a sense of accomplishment and get them excited about the next family fitness activity. Or, if you are using a dieting and fitness app that you particularly like, get the family to create their own accounts. Whatever works!