I recently read this troubling fact:
“More than 80 percent of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities. Similarly, more than 80 percent of adolescents do not do enough aerobic physical activity to meet the guidelines for youth.”(4)
We all know that it is important to be physically active, that regular exercise improves overall health and helps to reduce risks for common health problems, and yet most of us are not fit; many of us, together with our families, are far too sedentary.
Fitness and nutrition are hard enough to master as an individual, add into the mix picky kids, extracurricular activities and late nights pulling overtime, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster! How are busy families supposed to get fit and stay healthy?
All members of a family get fit by doing it together.
The best way to achieve fitness goals for the whole family is to make them together, commit to them together, and do them together, while supporting one another. And the benefits are important:
The more involved your family is in physical activity, the healthier they will be.
When I was a kid, my grandmother used to wake me up before school, so she and I could work out to together. Once a week, with my mom, my grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins, and brother, I would take long walks after church. It was such a fun time together, I remember it fondly. This is what inspired me to get active with my kids.
It may seem too much like herding cats to get the whole family together to exercise, but I have been doing it with my kids since they were babies.
I first committed to one time of day that worked best for all of us: after dinner. Then I decided to make it fun. Together we do a mixture of activities, and the kids get a say in what we do. My son loves to do jumping jacks, play catch, and my daughter loves practicing yoga and stretching. I love martial arts, walking, hiking, or running. I mix these up and add in appropriate weight lifting and bodyweight exercises too. Doing it together really inspires me to keep up, especially when I see the children smiling and having a great time.