Staying Active as a Family

8.21.17 / Comment

We know how important it is to exercise and stay active. We also know how imperative it is to spend quality time together as a family. Why not blend the two together? Stay active as a family! Exercising doesn’t always mean going to the gym or going for a run. There are many activities that you can do as a family that will get your blood pumping and muscles working! We’ve compiled a list of our favorite, family-friendly activities for you to try out!

42270942 - family walking along autumn path
Image Source: 123RF

1. Go for a Walk After Dinner

Not only will this help you to digest but it’s also extending the family time after what’s spent at the table. Take the dog too! If you have a baby or toddler in the stroller, make sure they spend some time outside of the stroller if possible!

52899675_m
Image Source: 123RF

2. Do chores as a family

We know this is a bonus. Blast some music, dance around, dust, vacuum, whatever needs to be done. Make a list for the kids, too! Doing this as a family not only gets your bodies moving, but also gets the chores done quicker!

42308753 - family playing football in garden together
Image Source: 123RF

3. Plan a weekly game night

We don’t mean board games, although they are fun, too! Throw the football around in the yard, play a family game of kickball, soccer, baseball. Not only is this great, quality family time but also a fun way for everyone to stay active. Not enough room in the backyard? Walk over to a local park!

44775462 - happy family gardening on a sunny day
Image Source: 123RF

4. Garden as a Family

When buying plants or seeds, let the kids pick some out that they want to grow. It will give them the responsibility of caring for their very own plant as well as the importance of eating healthy! Plant the seeds, water them, pull weeds and check on their growth as a family. This is a great time to teach kids and expand their knowledge on plants and gardens.

48791402_m
Image Source: 123RF

5. Walk Instead of Drive

If possible, walk to your destination instead of driving. If walking is not an option, pick a parking space furthest away; whenever able, seize the opportunity to get in more steps!


Image Source: 123RF

6. Plan Outdoor Activities

Put together special and fun outdoor activities when time allows. Plan a weekend of camping or hiking as a family. Organize a birthday party that’s outdoors with kid-friendly sports and games. This keeps physical activity fun for kids and parents, too!

Recommended Activity

It’s important for everyone in the family to stay active, even those still in strollers. Below is the recommended amount of exercise and physical activity at each age according to the CDC. Keep these numbers in mind and make it your goal when staying active as a family.

Adults

Adults need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (walking) per week and 2 or more days of muscles strengthening activities. Another option is 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (jogging) and 2 or more days of muscle strengthening activities.  Or it can be an equal mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity and muscle strengthening exercises (1). If you are 65 years or older and have no limiting health conditions, you can follow the same guidelines as adults (2). If you are in a healthy pregnancy or postpartum phase, physical activity is still important and you can still do 2 hours and 30 minutes of aerobic activity per week. It’s okay to start with 10 minutes at a time and gradually build up! (4).

Children

Children need 60 minutes of physical activity per day to meet their needs. Aerobic activity like walking or running should make up most of the 60 minutes per day. Muscle strengthening activities should be done at least 3 days per week and can be part of the 60 minutes per day. Bone strengthening activities, like jumping rope, are also important and should be performed 3 or more days per week (3).

Toddlers and Preschoolers

Toddlers 12-24 months old and preschoolers 2-5 years old should get 60 minutes of play-time every day. This time can be teacher-led or free time and supervised. Doing this supports motor skill development and encourages them to stay physically active (5).

Babies

Babies 0-12 months old should get short periods of tummy-time (supervised). Encourage the baby the touch and feel what is around them; doing so increases their muscles they need for crawling and rolling over. Gradually build up the time (5).

For more information on physical activity needs throughout the lifespan, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at CDC.gov

[1] CDC. (2015, June 4). How much physical activity do adults need? Retrieved from Center for Disease Control and Prevention: 
https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm
[2] CDC. (2015, June 4). Physical Activity is Essential to Healthy Aging. Retrieved from Center for Disease Control and Prevention: 
https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/older_adults/index.htm
[3] CDC. (2015, June 4). How much physical activity do children need? Retrieved from Center for Disease Control and Prevention: 
https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/children/index.htm
[4] CDC. (2015, June 4). Healthy Pregnant or Postpartum Women. Retrieved from Center for Disease Control and Prevention: 
https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pregnancy/index.htm
[5] Nemours Foundation. (2017). Get Kids Moving. Retrieved from Healthy Kids Healthy Future: 
https://healthykidshealthyfuture.org/5-healthy-goals/get-kids-moving/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This