Exercise together for a stronger family
Fitness is often a solitary pursuit, an exercise in personal betterment undertaken when the children are with a baby sitter or playing in the kids' room at the gym. Babies and toddlers spend an awful lot of time strapped into car seats or placed in front of the TV. Not only does this prevent them from practicing their emerging motor skills and strengthening their heart, lungs, and muscles, but it can also set them up for a sedentary lifestyle, and even obesity, as adults. A good habit of physical activity, on the other hand, will last a lifetime.
Parents who exercise with their children not only get healthier, but strengthen the family's bond, say health professionals who advocate exercise as a solution for both the nation's obesity epidemic and increasing family instability. Exercising together can make the family unit stronger, not just its individual parts.
Exercise not only improves health, but increases self-confidence and reduces anxiety in children.
For many Australians, engaging in a sporting activity as a family used to come in the form of a Sunday afternoon amble. These days, classes and activities specifically geared towards families participating together are springing up everywhere.
Exercise has innumerable physical and psychological benefits, including enhanced fitness and heart health, greater strength, better weight management, improved sleep and reduced stress. Meanwhile, families who keep fit with each other see their attachment, social development and emotional management skills improve.
As a bonus, exercise with family does double duty as quality time—no small consideration given our jam-packed schedules. Let these creative ideas help you turn every day into an opportunity to get fit—and have fun—together:
- Pre or post dinner walks: Whether it’s around the local park or cruising around the neighborhood, locking a time in a time to your daily schedule ensures it happens.
- At home dance parties: Move the furniture aside and turn up the dance tunes and hold your own disco at home! Great chance to showcase some of your favorite’s for the kids music education too.
- Making games out of household chores: Let your imagination run wild in to all the fun ways you can put excitement in to all the jobs you could certainly do some help with around the house.
- Turn TV commercials into fitness breaks: Invent silly names for simple exercises like squats, push-ups, and sit-ups, and then do them together until the show comes back on.
- Team up for gardening: what do you have available for the kids to help you in the yard? With autumn upon us the leaves are everywhere so there’s always work to be done. Family project towards a veggie patch is also a great idea
- Walk/run for charity: August through October lends itself to some fantastic outdoor charity events to get the whole family involved and some months now to prepare for them.
As a parent, you assume arguably the key position of main role model for your children. Your energy, attention and engagement to movement and exercise is vital for your children so always lead by example and encourage a connection to fitness for the best quality of life they can have.