The family that plays together stays together, and when playing also translates to getting and staying fit, everyone wins. To finish up Family Wellness Week, here are some quick tips for turning exercise and fitness into a lot of fun for your family:
1. Turn on the TV. Say whaaaat?!? No, I'm not suggesting you plop down on the couch for a movie marathon...if you have a Wii or a Kinect, skip past the sedentary games and go for the track and field setting, or volleyball, or skiiing...anything to get you all up, moving, and most of all having fun. Dude, those track and field events are hard! And the white water rafting...well, we'll just leave the memories. Healthy Heather Tip: don't have a second glass of wine before hitting "play" on that one. Trust me.
2. Choose a cause. There are more charity walks, races, and more every weekend than you can shake a protein smoothie at these days. Collaborate with your brood and choose one that pulls at your heart strings, and then get your heart pumping for the cause! Not only will you be helping your community and working together as a team, you'll be (shhhhhh) exercising together.
3. Take it outside. Finding a sliver of time for a walk in the rush-around evenings of the typical American family can seem like a mental workout of its down, and sometimes just feel impossible. But, carving out time for a family walk or even a "sports night" when you all go to the ball field or for a bike ride on a trail before you get home can be therapeutic, fun, and do a lot for your family's physical and emotional health.
4. Get silly! Who says you have to play by the rules? Set up a crazy obstacle course in your backyard and time each other to see who can finish it the fastest. Or, assign your own silly names to tried-and-true exercises to turn push-ups into pirate's planks or jumping jacks into princess shimmies. Your kids will get a kick out of seeing you break out of the grown-up mold, and you'll all burn extra calories laughing. Before you know it, you'll be staging your own family Olympics medal ceremony by Labor Day weekend.
Exercise doesn't have to be a chore, it can be just another way your family connects. Here are some more great resources for family wellness ideas:
ShapeUp.org Tips for Family Fitness
Secrets of Active Families
And please remember, if you're exercising outside, bring plenty of water, fruit to snack on, and sunscreen!
Get the kids together and kick off a healthy summer of fitness fun. Get out there and be healthy!