Maybe you're concerned about your child's weight, or your own. Maybe you've noticed your family's habits and hobbies tend to be sedentary instead of active. Maybe you made a New Year's resolution (or birthday, or back-to-school) to change your lifestyle. Maybe you're planning an active summer vacation or want to join a sports team and need to get in shape. Whatever your reason, there are lots of ways to get motivated and get started on improving your family's fitness.
Creating a family fitness plan need not be complicated or overwhelming. What it really means is a new commitment to adding more activity to your life. Coming up with a plan for how to do that makes it more likely that you will succeed. (It might help to think of it as a challenge you tackle together!)
Family Fitness Dos and Don'ts
Start by sending the message that physical activity is a fun, healthy habit that makes you feel good, not a chore to be endured.
- Forget Exercise, Have Fun!
- Teach the Importance of Activity
- Make Fitness Fun: 10 Top Tips
- What to Do If You're Not Athletic
- Laugh-Out-Loud Fun Workouts
Incorporating small but significant changes into your daily routines can make a big difference, too. If they're old enough, talk to your kids about what you're doing and get their buy-in. What are their favorite healthy snacks? Which fitness class would they like to take at your local community center? What family fitness goal can you work toward together--and how might you reward yourselves?
Tailor Your Fitness Plan to Your Child's Age
While all children need daily physical activity, their interests and abilities change as they grow. Know what your child needs now.
Stock Up on Fitness Equipment and Toys
Depending on what activities your family chooses, you'll need some basic gear, such as athletic shoes, bike helmets, and the like. Toys that encourage active play are also an easy way to motivate kids to move. Tight budget? You can even make your own work-out equipment from household items!
- Active Toys for the Whole Family
- Active Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Active Toys for School-Aged Kids
- Homemade Fitness Equipment and Toys
- Fave Outdoor Toys (including ride-ons!)
All Kinds of Active Play
Ready, set, go! The key now is to find fitness activities that inspire you to keep moving. Change things up often to keep from falling into a rut.