Jan 11, 2019

How To Get The Whole Family Excited About Exercise

Trying to stay healthy and active as a parent can be tricky; with the busy schedule of any mom or dad, you might struggle to find a time to work out. This is even more true for working parents, where fitting in exercise drops further and further down the priority list until it's almost entirely forgotten about. Parenthood can often make getting into shape seem impossible.
However, exercise isn't important just for you, it can be helpful for your family too. That's why you should try to plan your next work out with getting your family involved in mind. Exercise can help have many health benefits for children, including improved strength and immune systems. The average child catches between six and ten colds a year, but getting the recommended 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily may reduce this number. Here are just a few ways to get your children involved in your exercise routines to help improve health for both them and you.

Turn Exercise Into A Game

If you can turn exercise into a game, you're far more likely to get your kids excited about joining you during your workout. For younger kids, use active games like tag, hopscotch, or other fun challenges that get your kids moving. Older kids might prefer to pick a sport. If you can, help them practice by shooting hoops or running bases with them; this gets you moving while also encouraging their active interests.
If childhood games and sports aren't preferred by your kids, use popular activities like biking; in spring 2017, 66.21 million people in the U.S. had gone cycling within the last 12 months. By using popular activities that your kids enjoy, they're more likely to ask to join you, possibly even keeping you motivated to work out more often.

Tackle Daily Chores While Exercising

One of the best ways to squeeze in your exercise time is by multi-tasking. This way, you can take care of chores while also staying physically fit and having time for everything you want to do. Getting your kids involved as well helps encourage healthy habits and productivity. Use more active chores like sweeping, yard work, or even carrying laundry to keep your kids moving. For extra enthusiasm, turn it into a game; have your kids race to see who can put away all their folded laundry first or challenge them to find a hidden toy at the bottom of a toy pile to encourage them to put away toys.

Involve Your Family's Furry Friends

When you're planning your workouts, getting the whole family involved can mean involving your family pet as well. Taking the dog for a walk is something the whole family can come together on, and also keeps your pets healthy too.
Make sure that the amount of exercise your pet is getting is healthy, however. A good rule of thumb is that if you're sweating a bunch, your dog is probably even more exhausted than you are. The average person has two to four million sweat glands working as the body’s coolant system to protect it from overheating, but dogs don't have this same system to keep them cool. Ask your vet about how much exercise your dog needs, especially if they're elderly; vets suggest twice-yearly checkups for older pets, so ask as part of your routine check up how much exercise is healthy for them.
Even with the busiest of routines, exercise is important for the entire family. Make sure you use these tips when you're planning your next workout to get the whole family involved, making sure everyone stays active and healthy.

Devin is a writer and an avid reader. When she isn't lost in a book or writing, she's busy in the kitchen trying to perfect her slow cooker recipes. You can find her poetry published in The Adirondack Review and Cartridge Lit.

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