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Stay Active With Your Family

Keeping your family active in these sedentary times can be a bit of a task but here are some pointers to help you get your family into motion.
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It’s true what they say that the development of healthy habits starts at home. Parents and children can begin establishing healthy practices to improve their lives not only inside the house but also in the outside world. Despite all the household chores, day jobs and school work, you need to find time to squeeze in some exercise to make your family better and healthier.

Obesity in children and adults is becoming an epidemic in the United States. When a person is obese, he has greater chances of having high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. He might also develop type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and other respiratory problems. To prevent these deadly diseases from victimizing your family, you need to make some efforts to keep yourselves active in your daily lives.

Here are some ways to have a healthy and active lifestyle for the entire family:

  • Set a good example to your children. Be a role model to the kids by starting to live an active lifestyle that they can emulate.
  • Set a regular routine. Make sure to set aside enough time everyday for physical activities with your family.
  • Limit your children’s number of hours in front of the TV or computer. Increase your children’s activities by setting a limit to the time they can watch their favorite TV shows or play their favorite video games. Avoid placing TV in your child’s bedroom and avoid turning it on while having dinner.
  • Start planning your outdoor activities. To make your active lifestyle more fun, set aside one weekend to do something fun and exciting. You and your family may want to have a picnic lunch after a nice workout, or you could try biking together. There are also parks that need to be explored, forts that need to be built, trees that need to be climbed and insects that need to be caught and cataloged.
  • Redecorate or renovate your living room. Believe it or not, living rooms are considered by many families as the area in the house where laziness thrives—a comfortable couch, a shelf of DVDs, a video game console and the flat-screen television, nothing really encourages physical activity. It’s about time to redo your living room and place fitness equipment in it to keep your family moving. Also, set some time restrictions on passive activities.
  • Burn calories by taking fitness classes together. To make your spouse and children more active, why not ask them to join a fitness club or enroll a fitness course with you? It would be more fun and you’ll have more bonding time too.
  • Make household chores interesting and more fun. Household chores need not be boring and just plain exhausting. Instead of the usual task delegation to each member of the family, you can try turning the chores into a game where everyone can participate. Turn it into a race and see how fast the family can clean the house and try to beat the time next week. Also, play a merry song while doing the laundry and fixing the broken parts of the kitchen or bedroom. Ask your family to sing along and transform the living room into a concert venue.
  • Try to have a meal plan make over. Families that eat healthier also develop healthier lifestyle, so if you want your family to remain fit and healthy, get them involved in planning your meals. Incorporate as many healthy foods as possible such as fruits and vegetables. Make your children pick their own produce and make them part of the food preparation as well.
  • Purchase an exercise video and workout at home with your family. Get the kids and the husband interested in exercising by acquiring exercise videos your whole family will enjoy. You may also try a dance-style workout video to sustain the interest and get them moving to the groove.
  • A healthy competition is also helpful. Join some family games in the neighborhood or start your own Amazing Race competition at home to see who among the children can run, walk or ride a bike the fastest. Try signing up for charity fun runs and invite the spouse and the kids to participate for a cause.
  • Make snack time healthier. Stock up healthy snack foods in your pantry. When you have healthy options on hand and less processed foods, your kids can easily make the right choices. Instead of the fat-laden and salty chips or the too-sweet candies and sodas, opt to restock your refrigerator with fresh fruits, whole-grain bread, cookies, fruit juice and nuts.
  • Explore new things together. New activities may intimidate the family at first but doing these together builds confidence and also helps burn calories. Try scuba diving, bowling, dancing and other activities that have never been experienced by your family and feel the excitement, fun and satisfaction rush in each member.
  • Get a pet. If your kids have been asking you to get a dog for quite some time already, it may be the right time to do so. When you have a dog, you need to walk it around and give it some form of physical exercise. So if you want to engage your kids in physical activities, a pet can help get them more active. Let them play with the pet in your backyard or walk the dog around the neighborhood. You can also take the entire family for a jog or run with the dog.

An active lifestyle is the foundation of fitness and good physical and mental health for your family. As much as possible, try incorporating exercise into your daily routine to maintain health. You can reap the benefits after a short period of time but the payoff extends much farther and longer. Your kids can have better social skills and perform better academically when they're active and fit. As they grow older, they also have lesser chances to engage in vices such as smoking and alcohol. Finally, your family’s stress levels can be managed and the level of confidence will be improved in the long run.

 

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