Exercise. It’s a word that makes some people cringe and others feel pumped up. Our mood, how tired we are and the weather may affect our willingness to exercise, and actually exercising affects our moods and our levels of energy (like a yin and yang).
A study at the University of New Mexico titled by Len Kravitz, Ph.D. states, “People of all ages can improve the quality of their lives and reduce the risks of developing coronary heart disease, hypertension, some cancers, and type 2 diabetes with ongoing participation in moderate physical activity and exercise. Daily exercise will also enhance one’s mental well-being and promote healthy musculoskeletal function throughout life.” Yet, the CDC reports that only 53-percent of adults get more than 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise at least five days per week.
If you have kids, the amount of physical activity you do may affect how much they do since we know that kids often emulate their parents’ behaviors. So, making family fitness a priority will benefit everyone.
By following these ten suggestions, you can easily add more exercise to your lives, and it won’t feel like exertion at all. 🙂
10 Easy Ways to Get More Exercise (Alone or With Your Kids)
- Take a 30-minute walk after supper. It doesn’t matter where you walk, on your own street or neighborhood, by driving to a nearby park or mall. But the purpose is to walk at a moderate pace and to do it continually for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Do a family bike-ride each day or every other day. Let the smallest family members set the pace as smaller wheels may have to turn multiple times to keep up with adult bikes.
- Shoot some hoops in the driveway or at a nearby school or playground. Play girls against the boys or a competitive basket dunking game of PIG or HORSE. Practice dribbling and doing jump shots. See who can get a basket from the furthest away.
- Stage a dance party. Any style of dance prevails. Play some pumping music and just move for 30 minutes, regardless of how silly you think you look. Engage your arms and your legs, shake your hips and move your head.
- Garden, rake leaves, dig in the dirt. Gardening and doing outdoor activities gets us in touch with nature and burns calories at the same time (plus if you plant veggies or herbs, it helps teach children where their food comes from and the cycles of life).
- Play a game of tag or touch football or soccer in your yard or in a nearby park or schoolyard. Kicking and running are great ways to burn calories and relieve stress for people of any ages.
- Do a mini workout to YouTube. Streaming video services are full of 8-minute, 10-minute and 30-minute workouts for specific body parts and for the full body. They can also be fun to do as a small group. And with so many to choose from, you’ll never have to do the same routine twice unless you want to.
- Train as a family for an event. Decide, for example, that you’ll all do a Heart Walk for the American Heart Association or that you’ll all run in a 3K or a 5K at some time in the not too distant future (like doing the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot), and then practice for the event as a family.
- Walk your own dog or volunteer to walk a neighbor’s or a shelter’s dogs. Canine companions are great fun to explore neighborhoods and they give kids an extra incentive to get outside.
- Lastly, do a bit of an evening wind down with 30-minutes of gentle family yoga, tai chi or qi gong. These mind-body practices benefit your mind and your body and add a quiet reflection component to your day.
See how easy it can be to get some exercise as a family?