Tips to Keep Your Family Active

One of the most common complaints new parents have is that they’re just way too tired -- too tired to work out and keep in shape, let alone make sure their kids get the recommended one hour of physical activity a day. We asked our friends at Moms in Hawaii  for tips on exercising with the kids. Walk in place as you take a few moments to watch their video and read a few tips! 

Here are a few more tips for you to consider:

• Take a walk or hike with the family. Try to find a time that the whole family could take a quick walk around the neighborhood daily. Set an alarm or go at a special time everyday so you won’t forget. If your family is busy you could walk alone; just strap the baby in the stroller and go. Schedule a time with a friend to walk daily if your family can’t make it. That’ll keep you active when your spouse has a different work schedule. Taking weekly nature hikes that are on the easy side can also make for some great memories. 

• Promote your children’s interests. When my daughter was really into dancing, I couldn’t afford classes and I still feel guilty about it. Here’s the good news: You don’t have to sign your children up for classes to support their interests. You could do little things that touch on what they’re interested in. For example, after watching a cartoon where the star character was good at archery, I bought a cheap plastic bow and arrow set and we ran around trying to aim for targets, a sneaky way of getting exercise in. 

• Be a good role model. It’s tempting to come home after a hard day at work, plop into the nearest couch to sip your favorite drink and watch some indulgent TV. But your kids look up to you, and it’s important that you set a good example when it comes to getting enough exercise. Plus, squeezing more activity into your day can be fun. On rainy days, I set a timer to run in place for at least 30 minutes. If my son starts whining for me to carry him, I make a game of it, yelling “catch me” as we chase each other from room to room. I was into Zumba a while back and my daughter really enjoyed the part of the video highlighting belly dancing. She would yell “so cute” as she swayed along with me. Active moments are good for your health, but will also be remembered as special memories.

• Get in touch with your inner child and just play! Ever heard of “monster lunges?” I hadn’t until I watched this video. I love the idea of building more movement into what children are naturally into. Now, if only I could think of an epic superhero battle I’m sure I’d get my active son really into that! 

How do you sneak family exercise into your day? Share your tips below.