January gives us a fresh start to a new year. It is also Family Fit Lifestyle Month, which is a great time to kickstart your year with the whole family. Creating healthy lifestyle habits is beneficial to you which promotes longevity. Physical activity is important for children and adults of all ages. Being active as a family can be fun and rewarding to everyone. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Choose MyPlate recommend that adults get at least 2½ hours each week of physical activity, and children get 60 minutes a day.
There are some helpful tips to keep in mind with exercising as a family. Be sure to set a specific time to do your workouts. Determine which time throughout the week will best fit your family’s availability. Try doing something active after dinner or on the weekend with a morning walk or hike.
Use what is available at home. No need to go purchase any workout equipment. Be creative and use items around the house. Plan activities that require little or no equipment. Some examples of activities include walking, jogging, jumping rope, playing tag and dancing.
Another great way to add physical activity as a family is to include work around your house as a way to move. Involve the kids in yard work or other active chores. Have them help you with gardening or raking leaves, or even vacuuming.
Planning for weather conditions is also a key component when doing exercise. Choose activities that do not depend on how the weather may be. Try mall walking (before stores open), indoor swimming or even active video games such as the Nintendo Wii Fit.
One last thing to keep in mind is to turn off all TVs nearby. Set a rule for everyone stating no one can spend longer than two hours per day playing video games, using the computer or iPad and watching TV. The less screen time the better.
Creating a family fit lifestyle can be easy and enjoyable. Try this out with your children and be creative on your physical activities. Also, be sure to stay hydrated during any type of exercise. Spending more time with your family while adding to your quality of life is an awesome way to start the new year off by being healthy and active!