OK, you are eating healthier meals and now you want to get your family to exercise together. First, sit down and talk about the different things you all like to do. Give everyone a turn to come up with a week's worth of activities. Numerous studies have shown that if you exercise for 30 consecutive days it becomes a habit. So once you all get past the first month it will become routine and part of your lifestyle. Just remember to keep it fun and give everyone a chance to participate in coming up with different things to do. Everyone wants to give input, no one likes to be told over and over what to do!
One of my favorites is dancing. Everyone gets to pick their favorite music and you all get to dance to it. It is also fun for the younger generation to watch the older one dance.
Another favorite of mine is swimming. If you have a YMCA, community center, or if your school is lucky enough to have a pool see if you can get some swim time in. You can also get creative here also with different types of swimming, races, or water ballet. Another option if you have the pool to yourself is pool volleyball!
One great game the whole family can play is Twister, plus it has the added advantage of stretching all those muscles. Be sure you play enough games to get those muscles warmed up (4-8 games). Since weather is one of the main reasons why many around the country don't get outside to walk, try going to the Mall. Walk at a nice brisk pace for at least 20-30 minutes or less if you feel you are getting short of breath. Then since you are there reward yourself with some window shopping. If the mall isn't your thing, pick another indoor facility where you can do some brisk walking.
Many who walk keep track of their steps with pedometers. They are inexpensive and people love the feedback of how many steps they did in a day. Get one for everyone in your family and see who walks the most steps in a week. Whoever wins gets to decide on the menu for a week, doesn't have to do any clean up or chores. Or you could have prizes you give away.
Since I am into weight training and especially enjoy circuit training, you could try something like circuit training in your home. You could start with stretching; and then move to running up and down the stairs; then some floor exercises, such as sit ups, side bends, push ups. If you have some type of equipment, like a treadmill, bicycle, Gazelle or something along these lines you could also add that into the circuit. Do each activity for a couple of minutes or one repetition and then move to the next activity or "station". You could also place each activity in a different room and walk briskly or jog to each "station".
Get those creative juices flowing and I am sure in no time you can come up with a whole bunch of other fun activities. Enjoy!
Copyright 2005, DeFiore Enterprises
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