This blog post about ways to get your family more active was sponsored by Coca-Cola but the opinions are completely my own based on my experience. #StartSmart2016
Are you looking for ways to get your family active this year? Start with short walks. Make them longer over time. Younger children can ride a bike or a tricycle. Pull a wagon, use a stroller or baby wear the littlest family members. Make a list of active things you'd like to do together as a family and sure the activities are things everyone can do and enjoy. Choose activities that are developmentally appropriate for your children.
Here are 50+ ways to get your family active.
1. Get pedometers for everyone, and wear them all day. Work on n increasing the number of steps you take on your family walks. Up your “mileage” goal on the weekends.
2. Give your meal plan a makeover. When you eat healthier, you tend to choose healthier activities.
3. Get everyone involved in grocery shopping. Head to Albertsons/Safeway and let the kids pick out their own fruits and vegetables and help out in food preparation. Choose brands such as Simply Orange, fairlife Milk, and Odwalla Smoothies to help maintain balanced diet. By making mealtime fun and allowing them to choose what they eat, your kids will be more likely to eat everything on their plate.
4. Don’t skip breakfast! It’s easy when schedules get crazy to be tempted to rush out the door without anything to eat. Not a chance in our house, my daughter is quick to remind me her “tummy is starving.” Take the time to sit down and have breakfast, complete with Simply Orange juice. If you HAVE to rush out the door, at least grab an Odwalla Smoothie.
5. Choose days to turn off the devices. Set boundaries on their use and schedule electronic-free days or hours of the day to encourage activity. The same rules need to apply to you!
6. Give your family move a makeover. The family room is where the movie marathons and snacks happen. Set a time limit on weekly television and/or swap your current video game console with a motion console to get you moving.
7. Fill a basket with some small balls, resistance bands, dumbbells and a yoga mat and keep it in your family room.
8. Have lots of space? Set up a fun obstacle course in the basement, garage, or spare room. You can use broomsticks on chairs to crawl under and other sturdy furniture to make an obstacle course. Time your child and encourage them to beat their best time with each run through the obstacles (while still being safe!)
9. Make a game out of household chores.
10. Break out the Twister board!
11. Turn TV commercials into fitness breaks.
12. Have dance parties during chore times or even as part of your morning routine. My mom used to wake me up in the morning playing the Pointer Sisters on her record album. Choose upbeat music your kids enjoy to get their body moving.
13. Have kids take ten minute exercise breaks while doing homework. It will help them concentrate better in addition to giving them a boost of activity.
14. Playing with a ball: As simple as it seems, a game of catch or passing a ball with your feet can burn calories.
15. Create opportunities for your children to be active with friends. Set up playdates, join scout groups or sign up for dance classes.
16. Keep kids from being bored on walks with scavenger hunts Have them look for a red leaf, a green house house, a black dog, a yellow car etc. Raining? Come up with a list of items to find at the mall or the grocery store.
17. Go for a bike ride around your neighborhood or even a local bike trail.
18. Grab some chalk and play hopscotch!
19. Being active doesn’t need sports gear, try walking, jogging, jumping rope, or doing push-ups.
20. Get ready to run and play tag.
21. How about jumping rope? Double dutch?
22. Even grownups love hide-and-seek! You can play indoors and out!
23. Hit the slopes with skiing or snowboarding! Kids too little? How about some innertubing?
24. Head to your local rink for some roller skating!
25. All kids should learn to swim! Swimming is a great thing to do as a family.
26. Tennis can be great too – singles or doubles.
27. Play a daily family basketball game in the driveway or at a playground – play a traditional game, or even a game of H.O.R.S.E.
28. Take up miniature golf or flying-disc golf.
29. Raining? Put on your boots and raincoats and go jump in some puddles!
30. Pick up trash at a local park.
31. Have a family dance night.
32. Go to the mall, and count how many laps you can walk as a family.
33. Have a hula hoop contest.
34. Go for pre- or post-dinner walks.
35. Sneak workouts into other activities.
36. Have your toddler walk instead of riding in the cart at the supermarket, have them help you shop!
37. Walk or run for charity. – Every year we participate in the March for Babies since I’ve had two NICU babies. Participating in these events not only gets the whole family moving but is a great way for kids to learn about fund-raising.
38. Put kids to work in the yard. Have them rake piles of leaves and take turns jumping in the piles.
39. Play Frisbee.
40. Jump on a trampoline – there are so many things to do on a trampoline. Adults can jump too!
41. Try indoor (or outdoor) rock climbing.
42. Fly a kite. Think about looking for kite-making workshops. Kite flying can encourage lots of running!
43. Head to the beach. Play games, go swimming, and run around.
44. Draw pictures in the sand.
45. Garden together! It’s no surprise that kids love playing in dirt. Did you know that some gardening tasks are the equivalent of weigh training?
46. Walk the dog. This is win-win. Your dog gets exercise and so do you. Don’t have a dog? Walk your neighbor’s dog.
47. Wash the Car! Washing the car uses key core muscles and can be a fun, bonding experience, especially if you take time to cool off with the hose, too.
48. If you live close enough, walk or ride your bike to school.
49. Build a treehouse in your yard.
50. Head to a nearby park or playground and have everyone be a kid again. Climb on the monkey bars, slide down the slide, see how high you can go on the swings!
51. Go roller skating, rollerblading or skateboarding, indoors or outside. Kids also love scooters too. Don’t forget the helmets!
52. Have an older child? Get away from the distractions of home and go for regular long walks. You might just get some great conversations!
53. Get a National Parks Pass and go exploring!
54. Did it snow? Have them clear the steps and walkways, don’t forget to build a snowman. Motivate your kids to go outside by letting them know there’s a cup of hot cocoa made with fairlife milk waiting for them when they’re done!
55. Have a picnic in the park instead of going to a restaurant.
56. Instead of going to the movies, head to the zoo.
57. Take nightly family walks or bike rides after dinner instead of watching TV.
Don't let things get in the way of family activity time; make sure you make it a priority. Once it’s part of a routine, the healthy family habits will be harder to break.
Whatever we do to get the ball rolling to get started on our family’s health journey, we’re going to start by stopping at Albertsons/Safeway for some Simply Orange, Fairlife Milk, and Odwalla Smoothies to complement our activities.
Get started on ways to get your family active by picking up some fitness trackers! Save your receipt! By purchasing fairlife milk, Simply Orange, or Odwalla products at your local Albertsons or Safeway stores by March 24, 2016, you can enter for a chance to win 1 of 1000 Misfit Shine Fitness + Sleep Monitors.