As moms, one important job we have is to make sure that our kids develop healthy habits at a young age. It’s important to teach our kids that taking care of their bodies matters.
I love teaching my boys that exercise is not a chore, but rather that it’s something that we get to do to have fun and take care of our minds and bodies.
When it comes to children, being active can involve active play as well as exercise.
Kids that have more than 2 hours of screen time a day have been associated with an increase in health problems such as:
- obesity and diabetes
- behavioral difficulties
- irregular sleep patterns
On the flip side, children that exercise regularly tend to have:
- stronger bones and muscles
- leaner bodies and are less likely to be overweight
- lower risk of developing diabetes
- can deal with emotional stress better
- have better sleep
I know how much better I feel when I am physically active myself. And if you need some ideas on how to get active with your family, this post is for you.
How to Stay Active With Your Family
1. Schedule Family Workouts
I love planning workouts that the whole family can join in on. All you need is a set of dumbbells, a yoga mat, and some sweat and effort, and you’ll get fat-burning results while your kiddos play, or even try to do the workout with you!
2. Take a Hike
We love to find hiking or nature trails to explore. It’s a great leisurely walk, time for our family to talk, and for my boys to explore the great outdoors.
3. Hit the Park
Pushing kids on the swings and chasing them around the park is a workout for everyone involved!
4. Stretching or Yoga
I love to take some time for stretching or yoga in the morning, and the boys love to join me. It’s a perfect way to stay active while also taking time to wind down after a tough workout or work out muscle soreness.
5. Ride Bikes
Now that our youngest is old enough to safely ride his “big boy” bike, we’ve found that family bike rides can be so much fun! Before both boys could ride, we loved to use the burley bike trailer so that Warren could ride while Jackson, Patrick, and I rode our bikes.
6. Take a Walk
Walking is a great way to lower stress and spend time being active as a family. Find a park to stroll through or walk around the neighborhood. It’s a great time to spend together, talking and walking as a family.
7. Go for a Swim
Take some time on a Saturday morning to plan a family race. We love our 10-minute sprint workouts, and they’ve quickly become a weekly tradition. Whether you sprint down the driveway, at the track, or the park, see if you can go all out for 30 seconds, take 1 minute to rest/recover and repeat!
9. Set Up Active Games
Turn off the video games and take your gaming outdoors. My boys love active games like hide and seek, tag, or backyard obstacle courses. For more ideas, we love these toys for outdoor play (ages 1 – 8).
10. Limit Screen Time
Track how much time your family spends in front of a screen, including watching TV and movies, playing video games, and using the computer (outside of school or work). Then look at how much time the family spends doing physical activities, and you’ll get a sense of what changes to make. When you do spend time in front of the screen, do something active. Stretch, practice yoga poses, walk on a treadmill, or lift weights. Challenge the family to see who can do the most push-ups or jumping jacks during commercial breaks.
The best way to increase physical activity in your family life is for you to be a part of it. Activities should be fun and something that the whole family can do together. Kids need at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day, but it doesn’t have to be all at once. Short walks, active chores, walking the dog—it all adds up!
Make physical activity a project that the whole family can enjoy together. Encourage everyone to think of fun things to do to get off the couch, away from TV and computer screens, and get moving!