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Five Ways Your Family Can Become More Active

- Posted in Health & Wellness Tips

The weather is changing and it is beautiful outside. This is the perfect time of the year to encourage your family to get outside for some fresh air and exercise. Unfortunately, more and more families are staying inside and not getting enough exercise. It’s becoming such a nationwide problem that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than doubled in the last 30 years, and more than one-third of U.S. citizens are obese. With these staggering numbers, it is more important than ever for your family to engage in some physical activity.

Soon the kids will be on summer break, looking for fun things to do. During the hiatus, parents should make it a priority for the family to be active for one hour or more each day. Pick activities that include informal active play, fun family outings, or organized sports. One of the best strategies to reduce childhood obesity is to improve the diet and exercise habits of everyone in your family.

Here are some suggestions to help your family become more physically fit and have some fun along the way.

Set a Good Example

If you want an active child, set a positive example by becoming more active yourself. Find fun activities that the whole family can enjoy. Take a walk or play a game with everyone in the yard after dinner. Have a family night out and choose activities that require movement like bowling, skating, or miniature golf.

Encourage Physical Activity

Encourage the physical activities your child shows interest in. Attend all of their games in organized sports or join them in the neighborhood games. Give your children toys that encourage physical activity. Buy water toys like squirt guns and water balloons, or take a trip to the local splash pad.

Make It Fun

Make it fun, not exercise. Encourage recreational activities such as bicycling, swimming, walking, or playing on the playground. When you go to the beach or hang out in the backyard, set up an obstacle course or have a scavenger hunt. Challenge your children with age-appropriate skills such as jumping, balancing, and crawling on all fours.

Limit Screen Time

Limit recreational computer, video games, and TV time to no more than two hours a day. These limitations will encourage your child to participate in physical activities. Keep electric media in common areas of your house and encourage physical video games the whole family can enjoy like Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) or games played on Nintendo Wii.

Use Resources

Take your family to places where they can be active, such as public parks, basketball courts, and splash pads. Lake Mary is chock-full of these resources – and lots of them are free. Just check out the City of Lake Mary Parks & Recreation Guide at http://www.lakemarylife.com/lmparksguide/index.html.

Since children model our behavior, they will more likely be active if their families lead active lives. So get your family out of the house, engage in some physical activity, and you will be sure to have a fit summer this year.