Planning for family physical activity can actually allow you to spend more time with your family and help your children develop habits for an active lifestyle.
When you set a good example, your family is more likely to follow your lead. But this can be especially difficult during the holidays — when everyone is busier than usual, stressing about shopping and travel, and the days are shorter and colder.
Here are some simple family exercise ideas that will get you moving together this holiday season:
You’ve got other traditions around the holidays — such as caroling, tree decorating and looking at holiday lights — so why not add another? Set aside at least one night a week during the holidays that’s dubbed Family Night, and make it fun and active.
Take everyone bowling or try miniature golf. Have a karaoke dance party or play musical chairs with the children. Depending on where you live (and what the weather is like), you can have fun doing these indoors or out.
Incorporate family exercise into daily routines. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk or ride a bike when possible, park farther away at the mall or grocery store and take a walk after dinner together.
These are good habits to implement in everyday life, but especially around the holidays — when stress tends to build and needs a positive release. What better way to get rid of stress than exercising with the fam?
The holidays always come with extra chores around the house, especially if family and friends are coming to stay or attend a party. Make family chores more fun by doing them together. It’s twice as beneficial – you’ll get good family exercise, and the chores will get done while you spend time with the kids.
Reinforce healthy eating and family physical activity by creating a reward system. Set up a plan such as a family outing to the movies or a ballgame. This not only adds extra incentive for the kiddos (and you!), but makes the holidays even more fun.
The holidays are the perfect time to focus as a family on giving to others — and there are some great opportunities to do this while staying active. Organize a neighborhood track meet or relay: skip, hop, run, race and jump. Or you can pick your favorite charity and sign up for a walk or run as a family.
Hopefully you’ll find these family exercise ideas helpful and can start using at least one of them this holiday season. These strategies can get your entire family moving and help develop an active lifestyle that can last a lifetime.