5 ways to get fit with your family
If you make a resolution to get more active in the new year, be sure to include the whole family.
“Our bodies are designed to move so we can feel good and stay healthy,” says Jennifer Yanez, a registered dietitian with Kaiser Permanente. “Becoming a more active family will take effort and time, but everyone will reap the benefits of energy and good health.”
Here are 5 simple ways you can help your family get up, play more, and be more physically active this year.
1. Set goals. Sit down as a family and decide what you want to accomplish. Do you want to add 2 more activities a week? Is there a new activity, like biking, you want to try? Choose goals that everyone in the family can meet — and use a log to chart your progress. The visual reminder of how much you’ve done will help keep you motivated.
2. Stick with a schedule. Between school, work, and extracurricular activities, you may find it challenging to find time to get fit with your family. To make it easier on yourself, schedule your activities on a family calendar. It will be easier to stick to the plan once you’ve written it down. And don’t feel like you always need to block out an entire hour — add 10 to 15 minutes of activity throughout the day. Small chunks of time are more manageable and will add up.
3. Have fun. Adding physical activity to your routine doesn’t have to be boring. Have a family dance night, enjoy a hula-hoop competition, or head out into the Colorado sunshine for a hike — just don’t forget the sunscreen. Make the effort to try something new or different once a month, like a trip to the zoo or flying kites on a windy day at a local park.
4. Get outside. Colorado offers many family-friendly outdoor activities year-round. Trails and parks are often open to the public and feature activities for all skill levels. Don’t forget helpful items like sunscreen, hats, and strollers if you’ve got little ones. And if the weather’s bad? Go to your local mall and count how many laps you can walk as a family.
5. Just start walking! Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start or which activity to pick. If you’re not sure what to try, start with walking. Begin with short walks everyone in the family can do, then increase the time and distance. Use an app on your phone to track your progress.
“Active kids and teens lead to active adults — it’s a health habit worth teaching,” Yanez adds.
By making these simple changes, you can work toward a healthier, more physically active family.
Need some inspiration? Check out more tips and easy family-friendly activities to try.