Is your family not physically active enough? As we become more reliant on technology, we’re all becoming lazier. This is having all kinds of negative long-term effects, such as increasing the risk of obesity and heart disease. A lack of exercise has also been linked with anxiety and depression. Here are some ways in which you and your family can become more physically active.
Take up active family hobbies
It could be time for a new physically active hobby that you and the family can enjoy. Walking and cycling are two hobbies that can be great for all the family – it gets everyone outdoors and allows time for bonding whilst getting the body moving. Other hobbies could include swimming, martial arts and soccer. You may find that not everyone is up for the same hobbies but by trying different things you can each discover new hobbies and decide which forms of physical activity you like and which you don’t like. Teenagers for example are more likely to want to do their own thing – don’t force them to try and take up a family hobby as it could create a negative association with exercise.
Plan active holidays
A holiday needn’t be solely dedicated to lounging on a beach. There are lots of ways in which you can make your vacation active. You could dedicate a holiday entirely to an activity such as skiing or diving – both of these activities can be fun ways to explore a new world, whilst getting the blood pumping. Another option could be to plan a holiday with a few different activities spread out throughout the vacation such as a beach holiday with a few days for excursions and watersports. Sightseeing vacations can often be active as they involve a lot of walking around. You can research into the best activity holiday destinations online to find an activity suited to you and your family’s interests. An active holiday could help to build up happy memories associated with physical exercise and make you and your family keener to be active.
Get your backyard into shape
You don’t have to get away from the house to be active. Your backyard could be the perfect place to encourage physical activity. Kids play equipment such as a trampoline or a sandpit for small kids could help to get your away from the TV screen, helping them to stay active and healthy. In fact, there are all kinds of features that you can add to get kids and adults exercising such as a ping pong table or even a swimming pool. Backyard projects can also help you to work up a sweat, whether or not the kids get involved. This could include a construction task such as laying a patio, a hobby such as growing produce or a simple maintenance task such as repainting the fence. Simply keeping your backyard in good condition could help to encourage people to go outdoors and get your family off the couch – if your garden is an overgrown mess, it’s unlikely anyone will want to spend time in this space.
Drive less often
If you and your family drive everywhere, it could be time to start putting a limit on your car use. Try to reduce car journeys that are clearly in walking distance – you may save time by driving, but you won’t be getting any physical benefit. Cycling could be a great alternative that gets you around locally faster than walking whilst still getting your heart rate racing – you could even attach a basket or trailer to your bike allowing you to go shopping. If your kids rely on you to pick them up and drop them off everywhere and they’re old enough to travel independently, you should also start saying no to them so that they don’t rely on your car as much. Not only will it benefit you and your family’s physical health, you’ll also save money in fuel and reduce your carbon footprint.
Lead by example
You can’t encourage your kids to be active if you’re not being active too. If you try and tell them to play outside but you’re sat in front of the TV, they won’t listen. Start being physically active around your kids and they may start to be influenced – if they see you gardening or walking somewhere instead of the car, they could start to pick up this way of living. Teenagers are less likely to copy your lifestyle however you can still appeal to their competitive side such as challenging them to walk more steps in a week.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.