Make Family Fitness Fun

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By Jennifer Halter

Good habits start at home, and that includes setting an example for our children when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives that sometimes thinking of one more thing to add to our day seems so daunting. Here are four ways you can incorporate more physical activity into your family’s schedule and have fun doing it!

Take a walk or bike ride. Make it part of your evening routine to take a short walk or bike ride around your neighborhood after dinner. This is a great opportunity to share your day with one another, even if it’s for just 15 minutes. Want to get creative on your walk/ride? Play I-Spy or have a silly walk contest.

Plan active family outings. There’s no shortage of indoor activities that will get the heart pumping while
still having fun. Head to the trampoline park, ice skating, roller rink or rock-climbing facility. Want to get outside? Plan a hike at one of our local parks or walk around and explore a historic site.

Run yard work relays. The thought of doing chores, especially yard work, is sure to get some mumbles and groans from the kids. Still, you can turn the work into fun by having relay races. With the leaves falling, see who can stack the largest pile first. You can do the same thing with sticks or toys.

Take commercial break fit tests. As you are enjoying some television time together, challenge each other to see how many of each exercise you can do during the commercial breaks. Fill a jar or bowl with slips of paper with different exercises written on each, such as squats, run in place, push-ups or lunges. Take turns choosing a different exercise from the jar and perform each exercise. Keep track of how many you do and see if you can beat your number from the previous time.

When you enjoy activity, it makes it easier to work more of it in. So have fun as you get healthier!

Jennifer Halter is publisher of Macaroni Kid Woodbridge and Macaroni Kid Gainesville/Manassas.

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