Work Fitness into your Family Fun!
When it comes to exercise excuses, “lack of time” is at the top of the list. But that’s not only for adults—kids are often juggling busy schedules as well.
Sneak fitness into your days with bursts of activity. Shorter sessions make it easier to get active and can help you and your kids get in the habit of moving all day. Better yet, research shows that these kinds of short bursts of exercise add up. That makes for stronger hearts, healthier bodies and all-around happier kids and families.
1. Make family fitness a habit
Plan family outings that involve exercise. Go for a walk around the block as a family or take a stroll together on the 2-mile Independent Health Wellness Trail at the Outer Harbor.
If you have a toddler or a young child, take a trip to the local playground and have a game of chase. Organize a playgroup so your children can play hopscotch, jump rope or Frisbee with other kids.
2. Turn TV time into active time
When you or your kids watch television, turn commercial breaks into activity breaks. You can do jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, or sit-ups—whatever gets you moving. You can even do it as a family challenge when you’re watching a show together.
3. Rev up the cleanup
Have your kids make a game of picking up and putting things away as fast as they can around the house. Or choose an outdoor chore like weeding the front walk. Set a timer for five minutes and see how much everyone can get done during that time.
4. Ditch the car
Try running errands or commuting by bike or foot. Instead of driving your child to a friend’s house in the neighborhood, have them walk or ride their bike there. Have fun exploring Buffalo and Niagara Falls with your family while all of you ride a Reddy bike (see reddybikeshare.com).
5. Try a Fitbit or other wearable fitness tracker
Simply wearing a tracker may encourage parents and kids to accumulate more steps. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day.
Visit www.independenthealth.com/events to find different ways you can stay active with your family throughout Western New York.