If you think you don’t have time to exercise, making it a family affair might be the answer. Trade that TV time together for some easy and fun activities to improve your health and increase quality family time.
Our lives are busier than ever. Between work, school and extracurricular activities, families are often spread out doing things separately. More often than not, home becomes a place for families to come together in front of a screen and relax.
As tempting as an evening with family in front of the television can be, it’s important to make time to get your blood flowing – especially in these colder months when we are less likely to participate in outdoor activities. Designating time for a quick family workout not only boosts activity levels, but it also provides a great time to bond.
“Schedule a family walk or other exercise on your calendar or smart phone to remind you and your family members to exercise,” says Quinn Pauly, M.D., with Renown Health Premier Care. “The more frequently you exercise, the more it will become a permanent habit.”
Dr. Pauly says walking is the perfect family exercise. “Family members can communicate with one another when walking, and it gets everyone outdoors, which has proven benefits.” He adds that if some family members are faster walkers, they can bring hand weights or ankle weights to slow them down while they focus on strength, or he suggests they walk backwards or incorporate some calisthenics. And don’t forget about your furry, four-legged family members – they can join in on this exercise, too.
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If bundling up to keep warm while walking outdoors in the winter isn’t an option, or if it is too icy or dark, Dr. Pauly offers up these fun indoor activities as ideas to strengthen family bonds while improving health.
Tips for Family Fitness
- Jump around: Do jumping jacks or a similar activity as a family during every TV commercial.
- Dance the night away: Hold a dance-off or family dance night.
- Get moving: Try work-out DVDs or YouTube exercise videos instead of watching TV.
- Tackle chores: Play music in the house while everyone does chores to make it fun while expending energy.
- Strrrrike: Bowling is crammed with healthy benefits.
- Take it to the table: Ping-Pong, or table tennis, is a high energy and fun way to burn some calories.
- Going up: Try indoor rock climbing and take your family to new heights.
- You’re it: Play a game of hide and seek in the house.
Don’t forget to incorporate a short warm-up and cool-down together, and remember that while this is exercise, it’s also meant to be fun family time.
For more information about maintaining your health with positive lifestyle choices, visit Renown Health’s Healthy Living page here.