Get Active As A Family

Does your time-crunched day leave you feeling like you have to choose between fitness and family time? Here’s some good news: You can combine the two!

The benefits of making family time active time go far beyond physical fitness. In addition, being active as a family promotes family bonding, encourages time outdoors, and reduces time spent on sedentary activities like watching television or playing video games which have lead to increasing numbers of childhood obesity. As a Registered Dietitian and founder of Nutrition For Body And Mind, I am here to encourage fitness that is fun and can help reduce or stop the obesity epidemic!

Active family time is a great opportunity for you to model a positive attitude toward fitness for your children and teach them healthy habits that will benefit them throughout their lives. It’s also a chance for you to have some fun and play as if you’re a kid again!

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Go for a bike ride- there are a ton of great trials on the canyon, on the beach or even around the few blocks you live.
  • Take a swim at the nearest pool (I know it’s winter so let’s hope your pool is heated!).
  • Walk or jog around a local or high school track.
  • Hike a wilderness trail.
  • Walk or jog along the beach (try jogging in the dry sand to add difficulty and build calf muscles).
  • Take a trip to the local rink for roller skating, ice skating, or in-line skating.
  • Play a game of catch or touch football.
  • Jump rope (a great way to increase foot quickness and agility).
  • Walk around at the zoo or mall (sometimes a “zoo too” haha).
  • Play tag or a game of “lightning” (basketball) at the nearest court.

Once you start brainstorming, I have no doubt that you’ll find there are all types of active pastimes you can enjoy as a family. Take your kids out on a “Play date.” You will be able to check exercise off your “to-do list” and enjoy spending quality time with your kids!

If you don’t have kids….grab a friend or workout buddy! Choose someone that is similar to you in cardiovascular shape and strength so that you can accomplish a great workout together, as a team!

Your team challenge: Try a 25-minute run at 75% VO2 max (your fastest pace) followed by three 100-yard sprints (at your nearest park). Finish with a push up routine as follows: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 = 55 total push ups. You do 10 pushups, then your partner does 10, you do 9 pushups and so on and so forth down to 1…so that you have a quick chance to rest between sets. The trick is to try to do it as quickly as possible to keep your heart rate up! Stretch for at least 5 minutes using the self-myofacial release at the end (foam roller) to leave your muscles feeling lose and prevent lactic acid buildup.

To learn more about a fitness routine that suits your individual needs and can fit into your lifestyle, schedule an appointment with Courtney Walberg, Certified Personal Trainer and founder of Nutrition For Body And Mind!