BACK TO BASICS

Sometimes we look for “new” techniques or studies, “fresh” ideas and “cutting-edge” technology – when what we really need is old, comfortable, standard plain and basic. Sometimes the reason that something is basic – is because it works! November is Military Family Month and we’re here to honor your family by giving you fun family fitness ideas you can incorporate on any budget and with any age of children.


BENEFITS OF FAMILY FITNESS

Being active is just as important for children as it is for adults. Childhood obesity is at epidemic proportions and one way to tackle it is fun! How? Be active as a family. Engage with your children in age-appropriate ways.




IN CASE YOU NEED CONVINCING, HERE ARE A FEW BENEFITS OF FAMILY FITNESS AND ACTIVITY.
  • Make memories. It’s true – kids grow up way too fast. Every game of Frisbee or tag can make an impression much more durable than an Instagram photo, snap chat or Facebook posting.
  • You can unwind together. If you’re playing with your children, chances are you aren’t stressing about the work you did all day, or the work that you have to do tomorrow.
  • Burn calories. Kids need to burn calories and so do you! It’s more fun when you do it together.
  • Be a role model. Do you want your children to grow up to be active, healthy, happy adults? Show them how to do it by being a role model for them.
  • Learn new skills. You can help your children not only with physical skills, but with game skills as well. They can learn how to cooperate to reach a goal. Help teach them sportsmanship in the safety of the home field.
  • Build confidence. If your children can choose the game, or be the umpire, or write the rules, they can gain confidence in their own abilities.
And besides – it’s fun! As someone on an elevator said recently, “it’s not rocket surgery.”

IDEAS YOU CAN USE 
You don’t need an app, or professional equipment to have family fitness fun. Here are a few ideas (oldies but goodies) you can use.
  • 30 minutes 3 times per week. Put it on the family calendar. It’s important, so make time for it. Thirty minutes could be a game of catch, play hide and seek or kick a soccer ball around.
  • Bike or walk when you can. Make a quick trip to the market a chance to get some exercise. Added bonus: you can talk with your kids while you’re doing it.
  • Plan family activities and invite others. If you’re planning a picnic or BBQ for example, make sure you bring a bat and ball, or your swimsuits, or a soccer ball. You could incorporate an all-ages game of tag or parent/child competitions with other family members.
  • Sing and dance while you do your chores. Have everyone do their family chores at the same time and crank up the tunes. Work can be fun!
  • Share the yardwork. Mowing, raking leaves and other outdoor chores can be a group activity. Small children can pick up the sticks in the yard before mowing. Older children can rake leaves while parents bag the leaves or trim the trees. Yardwork gets done quickly and can be followed by a family reward (a movie? A healthy treat? a game?).
  • Go old school. Go to a “pick your own strawberries” farm, or “cut your own tree” lot during the holidays, or pick your own apples at an orchard. While doing those activities you’re walking, bending, stretching and lifting. And you’re getting a little vitamin D at the same time.
During Military Family Month the President signs an annual proclamation marking the beginning of a month-long celebration of the Military Family in which the Department of Defense and the nation will honor the commitment and sacrifices made by the families of the nation's service members.
 
We hope that our family fitness ideas have given you a few ideas, or reinforcement, to keep your family happy, active and healthy.

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