A great way to encourage healthy habits for the long run is by making them regular family events. With great weather ahead, why not include exercise in your daily family routine?
Regular exercise is directly linked to maintaining a healthy weight, reducing the risk of heart disease, increasing muscle strength and enhancing overall well-being. To witness these benefits, you need to be experiencing 30 minutes a day, several times a week.
Russell Athletics suggests the following healthy habits to kick off a family exercise program this spring:
- Communicate the importance of exercise to your spouse and discuss how to incorporate it into your family’s schedule.
- Encourage your children to participate in after-school sports. Not only will sports improve their coordination and team skills, but extracurricular activities allow you to enjoy personal time.
- Welcome the idea of exercising as a family and be supportive of each other’s goals.
- While you engage in a power walk, invite your children to ride their bikes by your side. Include nightly walks after dinner or Sunday morning bike rides in your routine.
- Plan family outings at a park. Pick-up games of football, frisbee or catch will increase your heart rate and will promote the use of other motor skills.
- Nontraditional “exercise” activities can successfully increase your heart rate and your metabolism. Gardening, painting and house-cleaning are all forms of exertion that burn calories.
- Give fitness-oriented gifts- e.g., bicycles, in-line skates, baseball gloves. Be sure the gift plays on an interest your child has expressed.
- Learn a new sport together. Take a family tennis class or attend a rock-climbing session. New adventures help foster self-esteem and endurance.