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Staying Active as a Family
Keeping your family healthy and moving can be a struggle. But activity often helps people feel better. Here are some tips to help get your family away from screens and moving together.
- Make it fun.
Start with something your kids already like. That can be anything from biking to ball sports to dancing or just walking. Don't do it better or faster than them. Just do it with them. And when your kids get good at it, they might just leave you behind.
- Start small.
Every family is different, but plan for a short activity if this is your first outing. A brief hike, a jog around the block, or a neighborhood walk are great ways to start.
- Adjust your expectations.
New activities can be hard or even scary for kids. Think of games that will bring everyone to the same level during the activity—like follow the leader. And if your kids fall down, don't be afraid to fall with them.
- Be prepared for the weather.
Go in the mornings or the evenings on hot days. And if it's cold or wet, bring extra gloves and hats. Hand and toe warmers help too. Don't forget sunscreen, even in the winter.
- Put it on the calendar.
It can be hard to get kids excited about activities. Doing them regularly will help. Ask your kids what they want to do, and mix it up. Sometimes just getting out of the house is the hard part.
- Plan for staying in.
Some days you won't be able to get outside. Those are the days to have an indoor dance party, exercise with toy hoops, or set up an obstacle course in the living room.
- Bring healthy food for long days.
For activities longer than a few hours, bring snacks and water. You'll be surprised how a few apple slices will keep kids going.
Staying active can improve your family's health and lift their spirits. Also, many families find it rewarding as they grow closer by doing things they enjoy together.
Current as of: January 26, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
JoLynn Montgomery PA - Family Medicine
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