The Active Family: How to Become One

photo credit to U.S. Army Do you wish your family had it together like the Brady Bunch—or at least had your health under control? One of the best ways to maintain health is to eat right together and, yes, to exercise together.

As a parent, your job is to create the optimum atmosphere for your child to thrive in. This includes being active. You may love to work out while your kids like to watch tv, or it may be the other way around. Regardless, being active together is what ensures that everyone stays healthy.

Family-Wide Activities

photo credit to Susumu Komatsu The cheapest way to work out as a family, of course, is to find things to do at home. There’s tons you can do as a family to keep the heart rate up. For one thing, you can take daily walks together. This is a favorite of many families as it allows for fresh air, quality time, and exercise.

But there’s lots more. You can turn up the radio after dinner for a dance party. You can make chores into active adventures (make sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, and mopping into battles with evil dust bunnies). You can even turn commercial breaks into fitness breaks if you have a hard time getting the kids off the couch. Check out many more ideas at Parents.com .

Gym Times

Not every family has time for a gym membership, but if you have even a small chunk of time every week, you should take advantage of it. Testimonies like Tiffany Slater’s don’t happen without setting an example. This girl set a goal of losing weight, and the only way she was able to accomplish it was the encouragement and support of her family. As she worked out and ate healthier, her weight began to come off.

You can do the same for your kids, no matter what age and weight they are. Your dedication to lose weight—or just to stay healthy—will encourage them to do the same. Most gyms ( like these Chattanooga-area ones ) have childcare, so you can’t use having kids as an excuse! Going to the gym as a family also encourages your kids to develop friendships and experience sports they would not be exposed to at home.

Teamwork

photo credit to USAG- Humphreys And don’t forget team sports. If your children aren’t involved in a sport, you may want to consider signing them up for one in your neighborhood—whether it’s Upward Bound basketball, soccer, little league baseball, softball, or the swim team. And guess what? You can take advantage of their practice times to do a little practice yourself—of walking, jogging, or whatever fitness routine you enjoy most. Make friends with other parents at practice, and you’ll have a workout buddy (or buddies) in no time.

What does your family do to stay active?

Whether it’s gettin’ down at home, running to the gym as a family, or taking a jog while your kid practices baseball, you can make physical activity a family habit. Kill two birds with one stone with family activities—family togetherness and a health boost.

What do you already do to make sure the family stays active? Has this post inspired you to make some changes? Tell us about it—what you already do, or what you are planning to do. Sharing your resolution creates a form of accountability that helps you stay motivated. Plus, we always answer our posts, so leave us a comment now!