Engaging in physical activity can be fun for the whole family. I believe a great way for families to start the New Year is to get active at least three days a week. Anything more can be an unrealistic expectation, and less than that is unlikely to yield results for most.
Exercise doesn’t have to be done just at the gym; people can be active at home, in their neighborhood or at a park. While walking and bike riding are popular activities, your body weight can be used to perform cardio and weight training exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, squats, lunges and jumping jacks.
For kids, many do not feel they are exercising when performing a variety of drills and games in a fun atmosphere with their peers. Some great examples are jumping rope at the playground or playing a game of kickball at the park. An easy way to keep a group active and motivated for an extended period of time is with stations. General ideas for stations are relay games/races, running a staircase, burpees, squats using a hand weight and shoulder press-ups using hand weights.
Playing a game of Four Corners is an excellent way to increase children’s knowledge of the types of foods that fit into each of the five food groups: fruit, vegetable, grain, protein and dairy. The children move to the corner they feel the food fits into best, with usually dairy being in the middle of the square. With the diagram of MyPlate from the USDA, children are able to learn what an appropriate plate and serving size should be each time they eat.
Exercising together brings people together, builds relationships and holds you accountable for sticking to your routine. Workout routines and smarter food selections complement each other. If the whole family is committed to a healthier lifestyle, you can achieve your goals and make this a fun, engaging and bonding experience for everyone.