We all know exercise and being active is important. Regular exercise reduces the risk of all sorts of health conditions including, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and depression, just to name a few. If also improves mood, improves sleep and strengthens the immune system, and yet, the country is in a obesity epidemic that is not only affecting adults, but also children.
How can we make activity easy and fun for ourselves and our families? The answer could lay in doing some exercise together! According to an article from letsmove.gov, children who feel supported by family to become active, or are surrounded by individuals interested in physical activity are more likely to participate themselves. In other words, if mom and dad like to sit on the couch and watch t.v., so will their kids. Children need at least one hour of moderate to vigorous activity a day. To me, this even seems a bit on the low side. So, if you are still needing a good reason to be physically active think about the short and long term health of your children.
After your family has decided itʼs time to become more active, making it routine is very important. Studies show people are more likely to complete an activity regularly when done around the same time every day. I understand, families are busy with other activities, but what if you start making it a routine 3 days a week? Make it last 30-60 minutes. It might be fun to take turns as family members choosing what activity they would like to do. For example, “On Tuesday right after school, we are going rock climbing at an indoor facility, on Saturday we are going for a walk on wooded trails, and on Sunday we are renting City Bikes and going for a cruise”.
Here are some more ideas for activities to do as a family to be more active:
- Go to the zoo
- Rent paddle boards, kayaks or canoes,
- Yoga (there are lots of free classes in the summer) Baby and Me Yoga
- Scavenger hunts
- Wash the car
- Play Tennis
- Play at the Playground
- Swim at the pool
- Look for a local Hike it Baby group
- Do a pre or post dinner walk
- Walk the dog
- Baby wearing fitness or dance classes
- Soccer in the yard
- Family basketball game
- Sign up for a 5k as a family
About the Author
Stephanie Braunwarth is a board-certified Licensed Acupuncturist with a special focus in womenʼs health, fertility and nutrition. Stephanieeducates her patients about the importance of treating the underlying cause of a health condition and encourages them to take an active role in their health.
Stephanie serves patients at Des Moines Acupuncture Clinic in Des Moines.