Ways to encourage an active lifestyle for everyone

Jun 06, 2013
Tagged with: Ways to encourage an active lifestyle for everyone

If you’re tired of seeing your kids sitting in front of the T.V. or the computer and you’d like to be more active yourself, then it’s time to plan family fitness activities. Don’t be discouraged if you think it’s impossible. Perhaps you think your family doesn’t have time or that family activities will be too expensive. However, with a little creativity you will find that your family has all of the necessary resources to get started.

Lose Old Workout Restrictions

Don’t think that you and the family have to be active for a half hour or more at a time to get any benefit from your fitness plan. Even a few minutes of physical activity can be beneficial. Plus, if everyone is enjoying the activity, they’ll be motivated to exercise more often and for longer periods of time.

Ditch the Car

Do you usually drive to the store or to run other family errands? If at all possible, choose to walk, push or bike for errands instead. Make weekly errands a family event by inviting everyone along for the fun.

Use that Yard

Your yard might be the ideal space for all kinds of physical activity. Playing tag or hide and seek, throwing Frisbee or playing with the dog are all fun and good for you. With just a little bit of money, you could also invest in a badminton set or volleyball net. Even a croquet set can give your family the motivation they need to get active in the yard.

Go for a Walk, Push or a Hike

“Walking and hiking are great examples of free activities that your family can do almost anywhere,” says Jennifer Anderson, a maker of monitored home security from Safe Sound Family, “Resolve to take a walk every night after dinner.” On weekends, discover a local trail. To indulge in a little friendly competition, get everyone a pedometer and have weekly contests for who has the greatest total of steps. Set a daily goal of about 10,000 steps to get started.

Try Running

You and your family can graduate from walking to running as your strength and endurance improves. Again, this is an activity that requires little money, although it is advisable to invest in good quality running shoes that provide proper support. To keep motivation high, sign the family up for a 5K race that supports a worthy charitable cause. It will give you all a goal to work toward and a wonderful way to celebrate by crossing that finish line.

Give Your Time

This is an excellent way to give back to the community while also getting up and active. Many local organizations sponsor park clean up days that welcome workers of all ages. It’s hard work, but rewarding on so many levels. Alternatively, Habitat for Humanity works in many communities, and you can get involved by helping to build and refurbish houses, another worthwhile way to burn some calories.

Discover Community Education

Most towns or counties have a community education program that offers an amazing diversity of sports leagues and fitness classes. Many also include community centers that have gyms, pools and other fitness tools. These low cost activities are a great way to get the whole family involved. Sign the kids up for baseball and then bike to their games. Other places to consider would be the YMCA, Miracle League, United Way, and United Cerebral Palsy. It’s a wonderful opportunity to make sure the activity never stops.

Activity Logs

Keep an activity log for every family member in a prominent place. Every day, the family can record their physical exertions and see how they measure up against other family members. Just seeing the amount of activity your family has already achieved can be enormously motivational to keep the momentum going.

Go to the Park

Don’t forget that your community’s parks can be a wonderful place to burn some energy. Many parks have ball fields, tennis courts, playgrounds and other fun activities available. As long as you and your family are up and moving, it won’t matter which particular activity you choose. Bring along the family dog and a ball for playing catch. Once again, this is a low cost alternative that takes little or no preparation. You could head for the park tonight after dinner!

Author: Katelyn Roberts