7 Tips for Encouraging Your Family to be Physically Active
Encouraging your family to get active and healthy can seem like a really big, looming challenge.
In a more concrete sense, the more you work out, the more that you can do.
However, we understand that not everyone has time to work out--which is precisely why we decided to put this list together. In this article, we’ll be tackling some of our top tips for small things you can introduce into your family’s day-to-day routine.
Keep reading and see how to get your family in tip-top shape in no time!
Take the stairs
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many calories you can burn when you take the stairs instead of the elevator. Taking the stairs is a great form of HIIT because it naturally gets harder as you go on. It tests strength, endurance, and is also a form of cardio.
Plus, taking the stairs is an environmentally-friendly choice. The amount of energy burned when an elevator goes up one floor is the same amount of energy that could charge your smartphone for a week. Train your family to burn calories--not electricity!
Park far away
A lot of people scour parking lots to find just the right place to park: besides the mall entrance or elevator. Our advice? Just park far away. Parking farther away from main entrances also means that you have time to think about which items you really want to buy and those which you can’t.
When you park far away from where you’re going, you get forced to walk to and from your car. That’s twice the amount of calories burned that you wouldn’t have even thought to burn--it’s a bonus if you have to stay to access the stairs.
Plus, parking far away can train your navigation skills as a family--why not make a game of it? First-person to get back to the car wins.
Take walking breaks at work
Set an alarm on your phone every thirty minutes or so--label it WALK! or DO 10 JUMPING JACKS! Fit in some time during the day to stretch your legs and walk around.
They say that sitting down for prolonged periods of time can cause a lot of harm to our bodies. It causes our muscles to grow stiff, it decreases blood flow, and it makes us slouch which can lead to scoliosis and other back problems.
It’s Pomodoro for your posture! Get up and go for a few minutes before sitting back down. Improved circulation will also help you focus better.
Assign fitness buddies!
Having someone encourage you to go join a gym is half the fight done. Pair up the kids and get your partner to join in on the fun. If all of you are on the same page and are looking out for each other’s goals, then things will be a lot easier.
If any of you in the family are sporty, it might also be great to take up that sport. Join in on some of the warm-up sessions, play a few games, and instantly increase your fitness.
Have you ever thought about how heavy vacuums can be blessings in disguise? We definitely have! Studies show that cleaning up for an hour and a half can burn as many calories as mild, low-impact cardio for 45 minutes.
This also hits two birds with one stone: you can encourage your kids to clean up after themselves and require them to move around. Whether it’s cleaning the bathroom or doing the dishes, assigning specific chores to family members will also give them a sense of urgency and fulfillment.
Take Up Gardening!
Gardening is a great mix of delicate art and rigorous physical activities. When you garden, you move all your muscles: your hands, your back, your legs. Whether it’s a vineyard or a potted basil plant, adding a small plant-based routine to your daily life can go a long way.
Plus, speaking of being active, herbs and back pain can also be a symptom of not being physically active enough. Your body has to adjust, making it a lot more difficult when you finally get ointment.
Gamify the Situation
Nowadays, everything is about reward and punishment. We learn the same way we learn through games: we choose the impulse that’s triggered by the game and then we roll with it.
If you want the kids to participate in your fitness endeavours, you need to give them a good reason why--make sure that you incentivize those who did well. This will encourage them to go on while giving the non-awardees their own point of view.
Fitness and family don’t always go together. We all have very different age groups, interests, and capacity for sports and athletics. However, family is where all good habits start: we should start early with our kids. Entice your family into becoming physically active with these top tips.