Physical Fitness and Sports Month: Getting active with the whole family
May 30, 2022
With the weather warming, National Physical Fitness and Sports Month is the ideal reminder to #MoveInMay. Follow these ideas for getting the whole family active.
What do your kids like to do? Schedule a family date to all be active together. This could include playing tag, tossing a softball or going miniature golfing. You can even dance, jump rope or hula hoop. Rotate which family member gets to choose the weekly activity and take 30 minutes to be active together.
Make movement into a game
Do your kids run errands with you? Try parking farther away at the grocery store and then counting together how many steps you take to the front entrance. Write it down and challenge yourself next time to park even further away or take even more steps.
Assign active chores
Mowing the lawn, vacuuming and weeding in the garden are just a few examples of how chores can be active. Assign each family member a chore and set a timer to all work together on these tasks.
Celebrate with a special outing
Instead of celebrating special occasions with pizza or cake, schedule a family outing such as a hike, bike ride or Frisbee game at the park. If there is a specific sport your kids enjoy, schedule a family game for their birthday.
Choose your toys wisely
Buy your children toys that encourage exercise, such as jump ropes, roller skates or kites. Encourage spending leisure time outside or involve your children in organized sports.
Plant a garden
Caring for a garden is a great way to spend time together outside during the summer. Not only does gardening help teach children about the food system but it can encourage healthier eating as well.
Benefits of exercise
The American Heart Association recommends that children get at least an hour of moderate to vigorous activity every day. In today’s digital age, this can get more and more difficult as kids get older. Set clear boundaries regarding screen time and stick to them. Too much tech time can lead to decreased activity as well as interfere with sleep and concentration.
Just like adults, physical activity is important for heart health, weight maintenance, stronger bones and improved memory and focus. Regular exercise is also linked to improved mental health and lowered risk of anxiety and depression.
Perhaps the biggest piece of advice for parents is to lead by example. The result is a boost in wellness for the whole family.