It can be really tough as a parent trying to find the motivation to be an active family but physical activity is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. As a mother of five, I even struggle some days, you know, what with night-crawlers, school runs and life in general. However, children need at least sixty minutes of physical activity every single day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I’ve picked out 10 Easy Ways To Become A More Active Family:
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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 quality family time together.
Engaging in active family activities is a brilliant, fun and easy way spending time with your children and there are many ways you can do this.
#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 hoovering, 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.
You might also enjoy reading 40 Chores For Kids Depending on Age
#3. Keep It Simple
Making simple changes to your lifestyle is a great way of being an active family. Keep it simple. Start with:
- leaving the car at home and walk to school
- taking the stairs instead of the lift
- playing while doing housework chores like making the bed
- hopping and dancing together during TV commercials
- trying to limit sweet treats to weekends for movie night or as a reward.
You might also enjoy reading 101 Easy Changes to Make to Help Prevent Childhood Obesity
#4. Indoor Activities
We live in Ireland so expect rain and have a backup plan. As an active family, you should plan for all weather conditions. Hide and Seek, Simon Says and Duck Duck Goose are great games to the kids occupied if the heavens have opened up outside. Or maybe just throw on raincoats and wellies and enjoy the muddy puddles.
#5. Play Some Childhood Games
Mix it up. Take a trip down memory lane and introduce old-fashioned 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. Here are 20 Childhood Games to give you some more ideas!
#6. Enjoy the Great Outdoors Whenever You Can
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, there are so many free days out in Ireland for the whole family to enjoy. Get out and explore the hidden gems it has to offer.
You might also enjoy Free Family Things to do with Kids in Ireland
#7. Limit Screen Time
Limiting TV time, iPad’s and gaming consoles are great ways of increasing your family’s physical activity. The exception to this is Nintendo Wii and Balance Board games on rainy days, they have a huge variety of active games that will keep the whole family entertained and moving if you happen to stuck indoors.
Try to keep TVs out of children’s bedrooms and encourage them to play outdoors, even if it’s only out the back garden.
You might also enjoy downloading our free Back Garden Scavenger Hunt.
#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 very quick. 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. Some days children just like adults 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.
Over to you now. What’s your best tip for becoming a more active family? Tell us in the comments below.