By Denise Locsin
Parents influence everything. We guide our kids to make good decisions, we sign them up for extracurricular activities, we bring them to sleepovers at their friends' houses, and we set the standard for being a decent human being. Raising a family is one of the most difficult yet rewarding things in life. We, as parents, have the ability to create habits within our families that could last a lifetime. Our job is to make sure those habits are beneficial for our kids' mental, emotional, and physical health.
For many, finding time to exercise can be a challenge, and doing physical activity seems like just another chore to try and get done. My husband and I are both fitness coaches and even we have difficulty incorporating physical activity into our family routine. This is a problem all families struggle with. How do we find time to stay active? Working out together not only benefits physical health but can also improve relationships and relieve stress in a fun and healthy way.
Stay active using these 5 tips to help your family create habits that will help you grow closer and create a healthier lifestyle.
1. Take advantage of having a routine. The one good thing about the end of summer is that it brings about a schedule. There are specific times when everything must get done, and this tends to stay generally consistent from one week to the next. It's by knowing my family's schedule that I can figure out the best times that everyone is free. I consider which activities are the best fit for that time of day and how long we have during that time to do something together.
2. Plan in advance. I have found this to be a critical component of successfully carrying out family activities. Tell the kids that you're putting this time aside for family fun time. This will help prevent conflicts from interfering with what little sacred free time the whole family shares. If you make a commitment to exercise with your kids, you're more likely going to stick to it.
3. Learn from your kids. I find it helpful to ask my kids what they learned that day pertaining to exercise, whether it's from gym or sports practice. This technique helps the kids feel more involved than if you were just giving them activities to perform. Kids feel like they have more say, and this gives you the opportunity to potentially learn a new form of exercise.
4. Don't be afraid of the great outdoors. Despite that the weather gets chillier come fall, I don't let this stop me from encouraging the whole family to get outside and take walks together. Stepping outside and getting fresh air can be a great way to embrace family bonding, as well as implement exercise in your children's lives.
5. Integrate various activities into your child's day. Children are known to have low attention spans. I use a variety of exercises in my schedule to help my kids stay engaged in daily activities.
These tips allow for everyone to get involved in family activities. Following these simple steps will not only get your family to be more active and energized, but will also bring you closer to the ones you love most.
Denise Locsin and her husband Danny are fitness experts who specialize in relationship and family exercise. They are the creators of the Yokebar Training System.