It can be really tough as a parent trying to find the motivation to get everyone up and out for some exercise, but children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. These easy ways to become a more active family will help get you started!
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There are many benefits to engaging in an active family lifestyle including preventing chronic diseases, decreasing the risk of obesity, and important quality family time together.
These kinds of activities are just plain fun, and a great way to spend time together – the active element is just an added bonus!
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How to Be a More Active Family
#1. Be a Good Role Model
They say ‘practice what you preach’ so try to be an active role model to your kids. Focusing on your own activity is an essential way of promoting being an active family.
Try to keep the phone out of your hands, walk the kids to school, let them see you drinking plenty of water, and organise some fun outings the whole family can enjoy.
#2. Get Active Doing Housework
Try include general household work into your active family routine, or why not make it a game? Involve children in all aspects from vacuuming, picking up toys, changing bedsheets, weeding the garden or even mowing the lawn. You could even time yourselves or set a time limit which may get the work done even quicker.
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#3. Keep It Simple
Making simple changes to your lifestyle is a great way to become a more active family. Keep it simple and start with things like:
- Leave the car at home and walk to school
- Take the stairs instead of the lift
- Play while doing housework chores, like making the bed
- Hop and dance together during TV commercials
- Try to limit sweet treats to weekends for movie night or as a reward.
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#4. Indoor Activities
Have some active indoor activities planned for rainy days. Hide and Seek, Simon Says and Duck Duck Goose are great games to keep the kids occupied indoors. Or maybe just throw on the raincoats and wellies and enjoy the muddy puddles!
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#5. Play Some Childhood Games
Take a trip down memory lane and introduce your children to some classic childhood games like hopscotch, kerbs, tip the can, rounders and skipping.
These are brilliant games to play in the garden and you’ll be guaranteed the whole family will enjoy them.
#6. Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Get hiking, visit local parks and castles, or enjoy a stroll along the beach. Days out don’t have to cost an arm and leg, just get out and explore the hidden gems in your area.
#7. Limit Screen Time
Limiting TV, gaming and screen time is a great way of increasing your family’s chance of physical activity. Encourage the kids to play outdoors, even if it’s only out the back garden.
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#8. Use Your Phone
Use a phone app to track your successes as an active family. If you have an iPhone just open the Health app and it tells you how many steps you have taken.
See how many steps you have taken when out walking or playing outside, you could even try beat it the next time you venture outdoors.
#9. Pick Activities to Suit All Ages
Make sure all activities are suitable for the whole family. For example, hiking may not be suitable for toddlers or young babies as they get tired and bored quickly. Try to pick shorter routes or ones with fewer hills or maybe invest in a sling that either mum or dad can wear.
#10. Have an Adventure Every Month
Aim to have at least one exciting adventure planned each month. Check out a farm, head to the Zoo, go swimming or maybe even try something different like miniature golf. You could also use it as a goal for the end of the month if you have been sticking to your active family routine.
And finally, don’t overdo it. Just like adults, sometimes children just want to sit down, relax and watch a movie – and that’s okay! Once you provide the right foundations and encourage healthy habits from an early age, children will go on to lead a healthy active lifestyle with the right encouragement. Right now, it’s about making it fun.
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Have your say! What’s your best tip for becoming a more active family? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!