Living an active lifestyle may start with the individual, but a team of supporters and role models in your corner can make a world of difference. If you’re a parent looking to promote healthy living with your child, one of the best things you can do is join in on the fun.
Darin Kelley, sports fitness instructor at Marshfield Clinic Health System offers these tips on how you can make staying active part of the family routine.
Breaking a sweat without breaking the bank
When you start planning ways to stay fit, you may start reaching for your wallet. Living an active lifestyle doesn’t have to be associated with costly gym memberships or classes.
“Many physical activities that families can do together are affordable and budget friendly,” said Kelley. “It can be as simple as kicking a soccer ball, jogging around the subdivision or even dancing goofily in the living room.”
Kelley offers these ideas to help your family get started:
- Play a sport together: From basketball to frisbee golf to football, any team sport is a great way to stay active as a family.
- Outdoor games: Activities like tag, hide-and-seek and hopscotch are always good options. “These games can help children stay fit, develop their hand-eye coordination and improve their stamina,” Kelley said. “They are also great ways to learn teamwork, communication, sportsmanship and discipline.”
- Walk in the park: Taking a stroll along a trail can be fun and rewarding. “This can be a time for parents and children to commune with nature and socialize with other families,” said Kelley.
- Insert mini activities during the day: Each day is full of little opportunities to encourage a healthy lifestyle. “Instead of taking the elevator, try taking the stairs,” Kelley said. “You can also park the car far from your child’s school to easily get some extra steps in.”
- Join your children in their pretend play: When children play pretend, it allows their imagination to run wild. And, when you join in on the fun, it’s an excellent way to bond and inspire creativity.
- Household chores as games: “Make it a race to see who can make their bed the fastest or sweep up the ‘dust aliens’ on the floor with a broom,” Kelley said.
Your options are limitless
These activities are just the tip of the iceberg. A wide variety of activities can keep the whole family active.
“There’s no one-size-fits-all plan for being a healthy and happy family,” Kelley said. “Every family and each person in it is unique, so the key is finding what works best for your group. Keep in mind what your goal is. Stay positive and keep an open mind. And, most importantly, have fun.”