Tips for Being More Active as a Family
Physical activity is important for children and adults of all ages. Being active as a family can benefit everyone. Adults need 2½ hours a week of physical activity, and children need 60 minutes a day.
Follow these handy tips to add more activity to your family’s busy schedule: (Download the Infographic.)
1. Make time
Find time in the week when the whole family is around and spend it being active. Try doing something physical after dinner or begin the weekend with a Saturday morning walk.
2. Plan ahead and track your progress
Write your physical activity plans on a family calendar. Let the kids help in planning the activities. Allow them to check it off after completing each activity.
3. Include work around the house
Have the kids help with yard work and other active chores around the house. Have them help you with raking, weeding, planting or vacuuming.
4. Use what’s available
Plan things that require little or no equipment or facilities. Examples include walking, jogging, jumping rope, playing tag and dancing. Find out what programs your community recreation center might offer for free or for a minimal charge.
5. Plan for all weather conditions
Try things that don’t depend on the weather conditions. Think mall walking, indoor swimming or active video games. And whenever the weather is nice, get outside!
6. Turn off the TV
Set a rule that no one can spend longer than 2 hours per day playing video games, watching TV and using the computer (except for school work). Instead of a TV show, play a family game, dance to favorite music or go for a walk.
7. Start small
Begin by starting one new family activity and add more when you feel everyone is ready. Take the dog for a longer walk, play another ball game or go to an additional exercise class.
8. Include other families
Invite others to join your family activities. This is a great way for you and your kids to spend time with friends while exercising. Plan parties with active games such as bowling or an obstacle course, sign up for family programs at the YMCA or join a recreational club.
9. Treat the family with fun physical activity
When it’s time to celebrate as a family, do something active as a reward. Plan a trip to the zoo, park or lake to treat the family.