We all know exercise is important; it’s a stressed component of healthy living.
With childhood obesity rates on the rise, there is no better time than the present
to start making lifestyle changes for a happy, healthier family.
Prevention is the key. Exercise doesn’t have to be at the gym. The goal here is to
make changes towards an active family lifestyle. Getting your kids to connect
with physical activity is so important and reaps significant benefits. It provides a
supportive, encouraging atmosphere; meaningful bonding time for you and your
kiddos; motivation; and most of all, FUN!
In addition, exercise offers serious physical benefits for our little ones. Think
about how much time our kids are spending in car seats, strollers, and high
chairs. Getting them out and moving is only going to enhance those emerging
motor skills, strengthen muscles, and make those little lungs and hearts stronger.
This is the ultimate benefit to introducing your children to activity at a young age:
good habits that are more likely to last a lifetime and will greatly increase your kids mental health.
Moderate physical activity partnered with a healthy diet have been shown to help
protect you from heart disease as well as some types of cancer and type 2
diabetes. Physical activity is also a huge stress reducer. Getting active is a great
way to help protect your family members.
Here are a few activities that you and your family can consider to start your
Go on a Bike Ride
Plan a family bike ride and head to your local park or look for a local bike path
that is restricted to pedestrian and bicycle use. If your little ones are not quite big
enough to ride solo, spend some time teaching them the basics. For the tiny
ones, get an approved baby bike carrier, and you’ll be ready to go on a family
Walk, Jog, Run – Just Move
Plan a night for the whole family to participate in, including the family pets. For
moms who enjoy running with their kids in strollers, perhaps plan a route that
includes removing the kiddos from their stroller and allowing them to walk a little
to make it fun! If you’re not too far from school, plan a couple of days a week
when you can walk to school, getting in some early morning exercise for yourself
and the kids.
Hiking is an excellent way to explore the great outdoors; kids love the sense of
adventure and trying something new. Hiking provides the perfect way to explore
nature. Plan age appropriately, keeping distance in mind. For the really little
ones, there are many baby hiking packs on the market that will give the bubs an
excellent view and give you a little bit more of a workout.
Sign up for a class together such as Mummy & Me workouts or yoga for kids.
Look around your local community for classes that are available that you can
Try and plan an outdoor activity on the weekend together as a family. Make an
adventure out of it by packing a picnic lunch with healthy snacks to make the day
even more enjoyable.
Good Old-Fashioned Fun
- Stuck inside? Turn up the music and boogie down! Create a dance party that’s
fun for the whole family.
- Have a family fitness night once a week. Play hide and seek or have a hula
hooping contest; the key is to think of fun activities in which everyone in the
family can participate.
- Jump rope or play catch for simple yet effective ways to get you and your
- Make chores fun: turn chores into a game that you can do together. Compete
to see how quick you can get them completed and then compare times the
Exercise doesn’t have to be expensive. The idea is to have fun, keep moving,
and spend time together. Families that make healthy lifestyle choices
together stay healthy together.
Photo Credit: Ryan Rowell
Author: Erin Rowell of ErinRowell.com