Today, September 29th, is National Family Health and Fitness Day, designed to encourage families to be more active together. Our children will model our behavior, part of family fitness is making the effort to be disciplined as parents. Eat well, Exercise, and encourage your kids to do the same.
“The best exercise is the one that you’ll do!”
It’s no secret, exercise is essential to your health! When mixed with the right nutrition, exercise is your best heart medicine. Exercise doesn’t have to mean a full-blown session in the gym, or training for a triathlon. When it comes to heart medicine, “exercise” is really any movement that gets your heart pumping, like walking, dancing or swimming and just playing together.
Movement not only prevents blood vessels from clogging, but can also help re-open vessels that are already clogged. Movement is also the only cholesterol-lowering medication that has no side effects! When we teach our kids to be active we set up a lifestyle of health for them. When we are active with them we also develop closer relationships with them! So unplug and go play.
You might be thinking that you’re too busy, but not so fast! You can easily move every day, no matter where you are.
Here are five simple ways to incorporate movement into your day:
Take a walk together - Try making it a habit to take a family walk around the neighborhood right after dinner before getting into other activties. Save your walk for when your kids get home from school, and take them with you. Let them ride their bike if they can’t keep your pace!
Play in the park - Take some time on the weekend or weeknight and go to the park. Many parks have walking trails and some have bikes available. Bring a ball or frisbee or climb on the monkey bars together. I used to do this with my kids and they loved it, but one time a woman quickly took her child and left because of the "weird" lady climbing on the play equipment at the park. What a shame.
Play Sports Together: If you have older kids, play a game of baseball, basketball or soccer. You can go to the local park or just play in your own backyard!
Park far, far away - Teach your kids to take the extra steps. Say it out loud "Hey guys, remember to move as much as you can to have healthy bodies, today we will walk extra by parking a little farther away. Or Take the steps instead of the elevator. Making it fun and part of life will cause your children to consider it normal.
Do a family exercise video together - There are all kinds of exercises that can be done on home. Try going to Youtube and searching for things like "Family yoga", "Family exercise" or "Mommy and me exercises". Or try doing a follow along dance video together.
Set a limit on electronic devices - We are all addicted to our phone, tablets, etc., but these devices are time sucks and lead to inactivity. Try setting limits on how much "electronic time" is allowed each day. My kids had 1 hour total electronic time (TV, XBox, Tablet, etc.) a day, the rest of the time the had to play. Encourage them to go outside and play, to read, play with toys in their room etc. This time is not only good for the bodies, but good for their brains too. Imagination and play are important parts of family health.
Make a Rule: No TV or video games on weekdays or before playing outside for at least 30 minutes.
Plan an Active Family Vacation: For your next family vacation, plan to do something that involves activities like bike riding, hiking, swimming or dancing.
Schedule it: Find a physical activity that your family enjoys doing together and schedule it into your calendars at least once a week. Also encourage and schedule after school play time with other children.
Every bit of movement you can do will support a healthy heart. The suggestions above are ways to increase your movement each day, but in addition, we as parents should be intentional to add exercise into our daily life. Add it to your day timer as an appointment, and let your family know that self care is important.
Whatever you do, remember to have fun!
If you’re ready to move more, but need help getting started, contact me to schedule a consultation – the first step to a healthier you.
Lisa is an Independent Shaklee Distributor and received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.
The information in this blog is educational and not meant to diagnose, treat, or mitigate symptoms.