To be healthy we need to be active every day. With our busy home, work, school lives it isn’t always easy to get your daily dose of exercise. We’ve put together a few ideas that will help you and your family get active every day without setting foot inside the gym!
Benefits of Being Active
Exercise is a great way to relieve stress for yourself and your kids. When you exercise you produce natural chemicals called endorphins – which make you feel happy. So even if it’s cold and grey outside, getting out and moving around will help beat the winter blues.
Physical activity can also prevent the risk of developing heart disease, certain cancers and type 2 diabetes. People who are physically active find it easier to manage their weight – and this is true for both kids and adults. Regular exercise also strengthens bones and improves co-ordination and balance. Studies have shown that children who take part in regular vigorous physical activity tend to do better at school and have higher levels of concentration.
Good reasons to get active!
Walking is an excellent way for you and your kids to get active. You don’t need any special equipment or clothing and you’ll save money on fares. Try to walk every day:
- Get off the bus a few stops early
- When you go shopping park further a way from the entrance to the shops
- Where possible get up a little earlier and walk the kids to school instead of driving
- If you have a dog encourage kids to take it for a walk every day after school
- If your kids are playing sport, instead of waiting in the car grab your coat and go for a brisk walk
If you have bikes, dust them down and schedule some family bike rides for the weekends. Find out if there are any bike trails in your local area. Try cycling to school rather than driving – you’ll save a fortune on fuel and you’ll be fitter and healthier too! Make sure you have the proper safety equipment – reflective arm bands, helmets and lights before venturing out on your bikes.
Encourage your kids to play outside whenever possible. Invest in some active toys that will encourage them to move more. When friends come over to play, take advantage of the extra numbers and get them playing some team games or ball games.
Vigorous housework can be a great way to get your daily dose of activity – get the kids involved and you could get it done in half the time. Doing housework together will free up your time and the kids will learn some valuable life lessons.
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden why not consider putting in a veggie patch. All that digging is a great way to get your heart pumping – and you have the added bonus of lovely fresh veggies. Getting the kids involved is a great chance to spend quality time together. Studies show that children are more inclined to try different veggies and fruits if they’ve grown them themselves.
Take the Stairs
When you’re out and about with the kids set a good example and take the stairs instead of the lift.
If your idea of a family outing is a trip to the cinema or a fast food restaurant, consider doing something active together instead:
- Go to the park and play ball
- Fly a kite together
- Go to the leisure centre for a swim
- Find a local beauty spot and go for a walk and a picnic
If physical activity is built in to your daily life and becomes a habit, it won’t seem such a chore. If your kids learn that being active every day is totally normal they will grow up to be healthier adults – and that’s positive parenting at work!
Retweet this article.