By Kathryn Rosenbaum
These days, it might seem hard to make the time for physical activity, especially for parents! Because of busy schedules and how easy it is to come home from work and turn on the television or get on the computer, more and more people are becoming less active.
Being active with your kids can be wonderful for you and your family! Physical activity can release endorphins—which means that often, you will feel better emotionally after physical activity than before. It teaches your kids healthy habits, and when activities involve the whole family, it can build strong relationships and fun memories that can benefit your children throughout their lives.
Here are a few easy ways to incorporate family physical activity into busy lives—don’t forget to participate yourself!
1. Commercial break competitions: if the family is watching television together, have a competition during the commercial break to see who can do things like jump up and down the most times in a row, do more arm circles, situps, push-ups, the best dance moves, or anything that gets the whole family moving and laughing.
2. Outdoor obstacle courses: it doesn’t matter if you don’t have fancy equipment! You can use toys or anything around the house to create an obstacle course in the backyard or a park. If the idea of turning a garden hose into a balance beam doesn’t sound like something fun, bring back some outdoor games that were fun when you were growing up: tag (or freeze tag, or “TV tag”), “Capture the Flag,” or “Red Light Green Light:.
3. Build a regular walk into your routine: it could be a walk around the block with your kids on the way to the bus stop in the mornings, or an evening walk after dinner. This walk can be a good time to talk to your kids, as well as a tradition that will build some great memories.
4. Reward your kids’ good behavior with a family dance party! Every now and then, crank up the music, and have the whole family dance together. It’s fun, easy, and a great way to let off some steam and have a easy, healthy reward for good behavior.
What do you think? What ideas do you have? Tell us how you move more with your family at our Facebook page!