Want To Help Your Family Become More Active?
Does your family live a sedentary lifestyle? What can you do to get them out of it and become more active? Would you like to be more active as well? It can be hard to stick to an exercise routine when you are the only one in your household trying to be more active. Luckily, I am going to show you ways you and your family can build a healthy, active lifestyle!
Have a Heart-to-Heart Conversation First
Kids are more apt to become more active if both parents are involved. Talk to your spouse and let them know why you want your family to exercise more instead of sitting around all day. There are MANY reasons why your family should become more active, including…
- A reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, being overweight/obese, or having a stroke (for you and the kids)
- You will have more energy throughout the day, so you can do more fin and active things together (like travel, go hiking, cycling, camping, etc.)
- You can help the kids develop a habit of exercising so they can live longer and have a better well being
- Exercising fosters good brain health to help with learning, concentration, critical thinking, etc. It is also a natural mood elevator and has been shown to prevent declines in brain function (dementia, Alzheimers, etc.).
- You can promote a positive body image
Work with your spouse to create a new family tradition around physical activity!
Always Have Fun
Even though you make good points, sometimes it will still be hard to get your family ready to exercise more. If you nag them it could push them father away from activity. I suggest creating a sense of adventure, and look for fun ways to be active as a family. You could go to the playground, go swimming, go bowling, go hiking on a new trail, go canoeing, etc. When you do these types of things your family will learn that being active is WAY more fun than sitting in front of a gaming system or TV screen.
Encourage Active Play At Home
Everyone loves when you have time to just play outside and discover new things. Even if you do not have a yard, you can still keep some basic sports equipment on hand, like balls, mitts, raquets, hula hoops, frisbees, etc. You can always go to a local park, school, or community center and throw a ball back and forth.
If your family loves video games, try to get them to play some that incorporate a little exercise (Wii, Kinect,etc.). It may not completely substitute exercise, but it is more beneficial than the traditional video games where you only use your fingers and wrist.
I have a step son that never takes his eyes off his tablet. But I got him out of the house by downloading Pokemon GO, and we all went to a park to walk down trails and catch all the Pokemon. It was tons of fun for him and we were happy that he was getting some exercise!
Limit Your Time In Front Of A Screen
More than 2/3 of American children have a TV in their room, and kidsages 8-18 spend 7 hours of their day looking at a screen! Whether it’s on the computer, watching TV, or playing a video game. That just BLOWS my mind. I remember when I was younger my mom had to drag me inside to come and eat dinner.
That large amount of screen time has been linked to an increased risk of developing medical problems, like diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome (even if they are exercising). It would be wise to limit EVERYONE’S screen time to 2 hours a day or less (not including work or homework).
Be The Example
Start by being an example for your family, so they can see how serious you are about staying active and exercising. Limit your own screen time and become as active as possible. You are a powerful role model for your kids! If they see you happier and having fun being active, they will want to be just like you and join you!
Helping your family become more active and sit less is HUGE act of love! Creating this lifelong habit will make your family healthier and happier, and will even help you live longer together. There is no greater gift!
If you have any questions or concerns about trying to get your family to exercise more, please leave a comment below and I will do my best to help!
Live Well and Live On,