There’s a lot you can do to help keep your family healthier that don’t involve medicine or vitamins. One thing you can do is make family time, fitness time. Spending time with the family could involve going to the movies, watching TV together or doing things more active. Instead of watching a program on how plants grow or about animals, consider going to places like the Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve that provides nature trails to get exercise walking and a playground area for kids to run and play. There’s so many other places to explore that not only provide fun and education, they encourage activity.
Don’t just give them a gift that keeps them active, give a gift of your time, too.
You can be a great parent, while also becoming a role model and make exercise look more fun. Living an active lifestyle isn’t just about working out at the gym. It’s about enjoying things that make you move more. If you’re buying your child a gift, skip the video games and instead get a hoop and basketball. The whole family can enjoy a few basketball challenges and get the benefit of a workout. Get them a bike, but get yourself one, too. You can teach them safe riding, while going on biking picnics and adventures around the town.
Make daily tasks more active.
Whether you’re cleaning the house or driving the kids to school, you can increase the amount of activity by making a few changes. If the school is close enough, walk them there. Even in cold weather it can provide the brisk exercise to start the morning right. It actually might save time when you consider the line at the drop off point and one thing is certain, it will save gas. Talk on your way, you’ll learn a lot about them that you didn’t know previously.
Turn chores into a fun family time.
Whether it’s yardwork or inside cleaning, nobody really likes to do chores. You can help change that by making a few changes. Turn on the music full blast and dance your way through the cleaning. Work together in each room, rather than dividing up to separate rooms. Take time to actually make your helpers your dance partners and goof off a bit, but still get the work finished. Outside chores don’t have to be a bore either. Remember how much you loved jumping in a pile of leaves when you were younger. They’ll love it, too. Let them. It doesn’t take long to restack the pile after one or two jumps.
- Always take the stairs, rather than an elevator and park further from the store. Just getting the kids (and spouse) in the habit will add to their daily exercise.
- If you have pets, make sure they get plenty of exercise. Cats and dogs both need to exercise as much as you do. Get the whole family to take time to play with them. Whether it’s chasing a ball or attacking a dangling string, both your pets and your family will benefit.
- Fitness involves healthy eating. Plan dishes ahead that are healthy and that everyone can help make. You’ll find kids and spouses are more likely to enjoy the meal they helped make. Have healthy snacks ready to eat.
- Limit computer, phone and other online time. Studies show that allowing children too much face time with computers can potentially lead to an unhealthy lifestyle by limiting exercise and even change the neuropaths in their brain if they’re young, which may be the cause of depression in teen years.