It’s tough to get back on track with working out after a long break, a busy week, or even a rainy day. Both parents working and competing schedules, inclusive of kids’ schoolwork and after-school activities (as well as the draw of video games), make it challenging for all to be in one place with time to enjoy activities together. Exercise isn’t only a wonderful way to make getting back in shape fun; it also creates some family bonding time (and memories) all at once!
Adults should be active as much as possible as often as possible, with a reasonable target being 5 days every week for 30 minutes. This is particularly important considering the amount of sitting we do at the office or if we have a long commute. Kids may benefit from even more activity to maintain good weight and stay healthy. Try to make it a goal to exercise daily as long as you can, and allow your body to build up a tolerance so that you can gradually increase how long and how hard you exercise. Keep in mind that there may be days that are better than others, depending upon how you feel and other demands. Exercise can help to keep you (and your kids) from gaining weight and having to lose those extra pounds later. It can also lower blood pressure, clear your mind and even reduce boredom. The trick is to make time for things you all can enjoy doing as a family.
Ready, set, exercise!
- Mark “family day” on a calendar where you can all see it on your fridge. If the goal is to do something together, making a date every week to do it, so you’ll stick to it, and not make other plans.
- Start small first. You don’t have to overdo it right out of the gate. Work your way up slowly – even if it’s stretching or moving for 10 minutes at a time. Gradually add to the list of things you like to do with your kids.
- Mix it up! One day it could be walking the dog. The next time it could be a hula hoop contest in the back yard, or a basketball dribble contest in the driveway. Whether it’s a race around the block or a dance-off in the living room, the point is to have fun and keep it moving.
- Reward each other. If you set a goal and meet it, celebrate with a special outing, like a movie night – Just be sure to hold the butter on the popcorn!
By Lisa Miceli Feliciano