Setting a good example for your kids to stay healthy and active isn’t as hard as you think – all you have to do is find ways to be active together. Not only does this help each member of your family stay fit, it also helps to bring you closer together as a family unit. Need some ideas? Here you go:
Similar to game night, this is one night a week that you set aside for a family activity – such as volleyball, tennis, soccer, or something else that you all enjoy. Hot summer evening? Go to the pool! Snowy afternoon? Get out the snowshoes or find a big hill for sledding. It can be a different activity each week and you can even have a different family member choose the activity so everyone gets to pick something they like doing. Other activity ideas: Indoor rock climbing, ice-skating, rollerblading, basketball, bike riding, football, Frisbee, etc.
Pick up a cheap pedometer for each family member and start counting your steps! Make it a challenge where each family member chooses a weekly or monthly goal, celebrate with a night out when everyone gets to where they aimed to go, and keep counting up those steps with walks after dinner.
Train for a Race
There are tons of local running, riding, hiking, or swimming races around, many which have family team entry categories. Find a race that’s a few months out and start training! Better yet, combine your training with a fundraising activity to help your kids learn how they can help others.
While this can be a tough one to make “fun” – it does have the benefit of getting the whole family outside and moving, while helping to make your yard look fabulous. Tasks like weeding, raking leaves or even shovelling snow can work most major muscle groups and help keep families in shape. Don’t forget to stop once in a while for a break – maybe some tag or a snowball fight?
A Long Trek
No matter where you live there is likely a good chain of hiking or biking trails nearby, perfect for getting your family in touch with nature while keeping in shape. Start with small hikes or bike rides slowly build up everyone’s stamina. Try to set a goal for the end of the summer (or early fall) to have one good long trek – and don’t forget to bring your camera! For an even better time team up with another family or two, kids have more fun when there are other kids around them, and parents can have fun too.
You probably don't need to convince your kids to go to the playground for the afternoon, but make sure you use this time to be active as well. Instead of sitting on the bench, get up and run around with your kids. Or better yet, make use of the monkey bars and other equipment to give yourself a challenge like our Founder Marco Borges recently did at the playground.
With a little bit of thought and effort, you can get your whole family hooked on being active so that everyone makes it a priority for life. Have fun! Photo (top): photon_de