Wow, what beautiful weather we’ve been having! I love to be able to get outside to enjoy the sunshine at the end of the day and even the crisp morning and evening air. What is your favorite time of day? What do you and your family enjoy doing to be active? We all know that being physically active is important for our overall health, but because we are so busy it tends to not make the priority list. So how do we promote being an active family? Here are some tips from ChooseMyPlate.gov check these out and see if you might try at least one idea for a couple of weeks, then add another. Changing habits take time, but spending time together as a family being active promotes a life- long healthy habit!
*Set Specific Activity times like taking a walk after dinner, or on the weekends. If your children are in sports, while they are practicing go for a walk with other parents to get your exercise also.
*Write it down, so that you can check it off. Just like your daily schedule it must be planned for to be successful. Children may enjoy keeping a chart and will help keep us on track with their encouragement. If you set a goal to be active so many minutes or so many times a week then use a small trip like to the zoo, a lake or another park as a reward.
*It should include work around the house like raking leaves, cleaning the garage or washing the car. You don’t have to spend money or go someplace special, just the activity together is important.
*Build new skills by taking advantage of free classes offered at school or work. Exploring new interests can open doors to lifestyle of being active.
*Make a container full of ideas for all weather conditions. Ideas might include walking, hiking, swimming, using an active video game, going to the orchard or pumpkin patch, playing a game of soccer, etc. Then during your scheduled time, grab a paper from the container with an idea on it. This way activity time stays interesting and hopefully weather will cooperate with the idea selected, if not, you might need to draw again.
*Turn off the TV or set a rule that the TV is not on for more than 2 hours a day. This will help everyone be more focused on what you really want to watch, not just watching because it is on. Turn on music instead to dance or sing to or play an active game together.
*As you begin this new routine, start small and build on it. If you have a pet, take them along with you. They will enjoy the additional exercise as well.
*Invite others to join you, maybe in your neighborhood or at the park. When it’s a fun activity everyone will be more invested and look forward to the time together.
Remember that when your children are young doing things together not only promotes a healthy lifestyle it encourages conversation and many additional assets for life. Talk about what you’d like to do for the month of October at a family meal and