Fitness for the Whole Family

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With warmer days on the way, now is the perfect time to get the family together and head outdoors. Not only will you be spending valuable time together, you’ll also be teaching your kids that an active life is a great one.

Overweight parents are at an increased risk of having children with weight problems – and overweight children are more likely to become obese adults. In the 1970s, only about five percent of children were overweight. Today, at least 15 percent of children are overweight.

Children and adolescents should be physically active at least 60 minutes every day. Here are some tips to help you and your children get into a springtime fitness routine:

  • Put your toddler in a stroller and go for a walk. Or strap your child into a bicycle carrier with a helmet and go for a ride.
  • Run along. If your child can ride a bicycle, jog alongside or get on your own bicycle.
  • Jump rope. The whole family can join in taking turns and jump away to fitness. This is one of the fastest ways to burn calories.
  • Engage the whole family in physical activities, such as Frisbee, playing catch, hiking, swimming or rollerblading.
  • Sign up for exercise classes such as kickboxing or join a sports team. Then sign up your children for classes or team sports.
  • Give children rewards, such as a basketball, that encourage them to be more active.
  • Fly a kite. Mix exercise with nature by flying a kite. The kids will love it and adults will have fun, too.
  • Grow a garden. Kids love to plant seeds and watch their plants and flowers grow. Have a fun competition to see whose tomatoes grow the largest or something similar.
  • Limit the amount of time you watch television. By doing this, you will find it easier to limit the amount of time your child watches TV or plays video games. Experts recommend a maximum of two hours of viewing time for children each day.