Why Work Out as a Family?
With childhood obesity on the rise, and people living much more sedentary lifestyles, family exercise has taken a backseat to the attractions of handheld electronics, television programs, and the computer. The aforementioned attractions also involve much more individualistic pursuits, rather than doing activities together as a family. What better way to break the unhealthy lifestyle and yet spend more time together than to pursue exercise as a family!
Most children, especially those that have not entered school, want to watch and obey their parents. As adults, we know that exercise is not only beneficial to ourselves, but also to our children, in preventing obesity, creating a healthy heart and lungs, and preventing illness such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. When children observe their parents exercising, and they encourage their children to join them, the children are more likely to follow suit. The pattern you set up as a parent for your children to exercise will instill the practice in them, to carry forward for the remainder of their lives.
Ways to Exercise as a Family
Many forms of exercise exist for families. Joining a local gym which offers family classes is a superb way to show and tell your children how to conduct cardiovascular activity, weight bearing activities, and functional fitness that will teach their bodies how to move efficiently. In a family friendly atmosphere, children and adults can also engage with others that are pursuing the same healthy trends. Friendships are formed, and even some friendly competition.
Swimming provides a well-rounded form of exercise that incorporates functional fitness and can be started at the early age of just six months. This activity creates a trust bond between parents and the child, and eventually builds confidence in the child. A pool is also a playful and fun activity in which the strain on the body is gentler, while building muscle, lung and heart capacity.
If you can’t make it to the gym every day, take an evening walk after dinner. While you walk, talk about your days, answer a pre-determined question of the day such as, “What is your favorite ______ ?(fill in the blank)” or “How many places did you see today?”, or play a word game such as 21 questions.
And speaking of games, exercise can be fun! If at home, jump rope in the yard, or play classic games such as Hide and Go Seek, Follow the Leader, or Hopscotch. When at the gym, make a game of your workouts by keeping tallies of how many of a particular exercise each can do well, how far is walked or run on a treadmill, or number of laps in the pool. Set goals with healthy rewards to encourage your family members to get up and go!.
Sometimes, the excuse of being too tired or busy to go to gym can come up. But it’s best to remember that exercise is revitalizing! Exercise burns calories, creates healthy endorphins, the feel of the pool while swimming is wonderful, and can put a smile on yours and your family’s faces. Thinking of benefits may help inspire you to make that trip to the gym after all. You WILL feel better after exercise, and so will your family.
Morning Fitness for your child
Your child can score better on tests and improve problem solving skills with a boost to his or her morning – with exercise! Fourteen studies, ranging in participants from 50 children to 10,000, ages 6-18, showed that the more physically active children are, the better they perform academically. Math and reading scores showed significant improvement […]