Sure it’s September but that’s no reason to let the family sit around like under cooked couch potatoes!
Get moving with these simple tricks and tips that will get you and your loved ones up off the couch and using your bodies for greater health and happiness.
Just do it!
Honestly, Nike is right, when the whole family just gets up and does it, everyone feels better - both mentally and physically.
Better yet, when the whole family gets involved in physical activity of any kind, kids learn by example, and from experience, that being active is fun!
Just go ahead and plan it
- As a family, make a list of activities you'd like to do together.
- Make sure the activities are things everyone can do and enjoy.
- Keep a family physical activity log, or hang a calendar on the wall.
- Try to plan one or two family activities a week. See ideas below.
- Once a month, plan something special that involves being active, like an evening walk, a day hike, or even camping.
Use a safe backpack, stroller, or bike trailer so that smaller children can be included in family activities.
Try a walk to get everyone going
When family schedules get really busy, going for a walk may be the easiest thing you can do together.
Start with short walks that everyone in the family can do. Add more distance gradually. Younger children can ride a bike or a tricycle. You can pull a wagon in case little ones get tired.
Scavenger hunts can keep children from being bored on a walk. Keep in mind a list of "treasures" they can find, such as a red leaf, a blue house, a black dog, or an out-of-province licence plate.
Use a phone app or get pedometers, and work on increasing the number of steps you take on your family walks.
Build up to other outdoor activities
- Go for a bike ride.
- Join your children in old-fashioned games like hopscotch, tag, jump rope, and hide-and-seek.
- Get involved in family-friendly sports like skiing, skating, swimming, and tennis.
- Play a daily family basketball game in the driveway or at a playground.
- Take up miniature golf or flying-disc golf.
Fly a kite.
Consider some indoor and rainy-day activities
- Have a family dance night. Share dances from each generation, and teach each other to do them. Or learn folk dances.
- Create a new dance or exercise routine to a favourite song. Have a different child choose the song each week.
- Have a hula hoop contest.
- Set up a fun obstacle course in the basement, garage, spare room, or porch.
Don’t forget these basic rules for achieving the best health benefits
Limit TV, video games, and computer time.
- None for children younger than 2 years
- One hour or less for children ages 2 to 4 years
- 2 hours or less for children ages 5 to 17 years
Don't use food as a reward for meeting activity goals.
Make physical activity a priority. Don't let things get in the way of family activity time.
These tips have been adapted courtesy of BC Government's HealthLinkBC.