Days packed with kale, playground romping and meditation promote health, but without exercise those trumpet-worthy achievements will fall flat. A healthy lifestyle simply requires movement. Families don’t need to train for triathlons or spend hours in the gym to boost health, but everybody must do something.
For most of us, planning is essential. Morning hours for families so often are rushed, work and school occupies most of the day, and cooking and cleaning-up demand big chunks of time in the evening. Without a plan, the days easily fly by without any significant movement.
But coming up with a plan, and sticking to it, can make a big difference. Sometimes, the kids have sports and activities after school, while the parents are either working or shuttling them around. “Things always come up,” she said. “You get sick. There is a party. But these interruptions can’t be an ongoing thing. If today is messed up, OK. But make sure it doesn’t happen tomorrow. It’s prioritizing. Once you prioritize your life, then you will not let exercise go.”
The goal is to create a plan that works for the whole family and is fun! Start small – like playing catch outdoors before or after dinner. Then, work up to walking and possibly cycling or running together. Lots of discussions happen during a workout or play that you would never had otherwise! You will learn a ton about your children!
Filettti urges clients to set small goals, at first.
With exercise, it comes down to carving out time and committing to that window of movement. It’s about willpower and what your family likes and have fun at! Finding something that your family likes doing is key – a person who hates running, after giving it a shot off and on for years, is likely never to take to the sport. Try cycling, weight training, gymnastics, soccer, swimming, skateboarding – whatever. Keep on trying different sports until one really clicks. It doesn’t even have to be a sport. Playground time? Assuming it involves running around like a maniac, pumping legs on swing sets, climbing stairs to slides – it all counts. Staring into a phone on the playground, on the other hand, is not.
Try some of these activities with your family to see what works for you!
- Game of tag for 20 minutes out back or at a local park. To add more flavor – whoever wins gets out of doing dishes for a week!
- Discovery Walk – walk around your neighborhood and play I Spy… I spy something blue! Your kids, even teens like this one! And it makes the time fly by.
- Olympics are so fun! Set up a 3 station obstacle course and time everyone. Do it 2 or 3 times and then let the family know you will do this again in 2 weeks -make sure you write down everyone’s time and see how the family progresses!
- No time to get outdoors? Play a game of running up steps and back down and then measure your heart rate. Over time, you will need to do more steps to get that heart rate up as your heart becomes more conditioned to exercise!
There are more games to play on ZisBoomBah! Take a look at activities on FunStuff!