We all know we should get off the couch and off our devices more often, but it can be challenging to find activities that every member of the family will find fun and engaging.
Children need 60 minutes of play with moderate to vigorous physical activity every day according to Let's Move!, an initiative launched by First Lady Michelle Obama to fight the problem of childhood obesity.
Let's Move! says that kids who are supported by their families or surrounded by others interested in physical activity are more likely to participate in such activities themselves.
Here are six solid suggestions for families looking to get fit this fall and grow closer:
- Let your kids participate in planning their fitness activities. Attend the fall registration evening as a family on Wednesday, Aug. 21 at TOGP in Virden. This way, every member of the family can learn about a wide range of fall and winter activities all in one place and sign up for the ones that suit their interests.
- Give gifts that encourage activity. In lieu of toys that promote sedentary lifestyles, give kids toys that encourage physical activity. Erect a basketball hoop in the driveway or get ice skates for the whole family, resolving to go for regular skates together.
- Restrict TV time. Establish house rules regarding how many hours of television kids and adults can watch each day. Kids will follow their parents' lead so parents should be mindful of their own viewing habits, resisting the temptation to plop down on the couch for hours each night. Don't even turn it on until the whole family has engaged in some physical activity.
- Walk or ride bikes to do errands rather than drive. This is a great time for families to catch up and is good exercise for adults and kids alike.
- Schedule physical activities for the weekends for the whole family. Make time to go hiking, skiing or snowshoeing at a nearby park or play a family basketball game in the driveway. Such activities are healthy and they don't cost a lot, either.
- Volunteer as a family. Work with a local nonprofit or charitable organization. Sign the family up for park or beach cleanup projects or sign up to work at a local charity where kids can learn the value of helping others while staying on their feet.