Yes, it can be really challenging to stay on the fitness track, but there is power in numbers, so consider creating good fitness habits and rituals together as a family. If you’re able to add 30 minutes of fitness to your day, you will make huge strides in very little time.
The hardest part is getting started so here are a few tips that might help:
- Sit down together as a family and talk about the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.
- Try to stay away from negative terms or language that includes “fat” or “diet” because your aim is to get fit and healthy. Remember, there are plenty of thin people who are not healthy.
- Come up with a game plan and a schedule for fitness time.
- Be sure to include physical activities that everybody in the family wants to do, so everyone should help choose the fitness activities.
- It’s imperative to be practical. White water rafting when you live nowhere near a river is not as feasible as planning a hike or bike ride.
- Create a chart to track your progress and encourage you to continue. Then post it somewhere that everyone can see and easily update it.
- Acknowledge that it can be tough to stick to a routine in the beginning, but remind each other that you can do it!
It can be especially hard to get kids who are normally less active to become an athlete overnight; frankly it’s hard for anyone, but the advantages of kids getting into shape are essential for them short and long term. Below is a quick list of just some the benefits of children exercising just 30 minutes a day.
- Stronger bones and joints
- Greater muscle strength
- A decrease in body fat
- Improved flexibility
- A healthier cardiovascular system, which can reduce the risk of developing heart disease and high blood pressure
- A reduced likelihood of developing diabetes
- More energy
- A greater ability to handle stress
- Improvements in self-confidence and self-esteem
- Greater social acceptance by physically active peers
- Opportunities to make new friends
- Better concentration at school
Parents can also greatly benefit from a fit lifestyle with more energy, stronger bones, better circulation, muscle strength, and less body fat. Working out is also a huge stress reliever and as we age, we need to keep our minds and body in top shape.
All family members should have a say in the fitness plans and then rotate activities so that everyone gets to do something they like and potentially try something new.
Here are a few family-friendly fitness ideas:
- Bike riding
- Trampoline (seriously, this is hard stuff but crazy fun!)
- Soccer or football
- Rollerblading/roller skating
A healthy diet will only benefit your fitness results and making a few simple dietary changes can increase your energy to get out there and work up a sweat. Check in with your doctors and pediatricians and let them know the game plan and ask for any needed suggestions or advice.