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5 Tips for Getting Fit as a Family
Getting fit as family is not easy feat. My kids are tough to convince to exercise sometimes. We require them to play one sport year round that keeps them moving and exercising. They change it around. Right now all three kids are in tennis. I have to admit that they are all three pretty good at it. I am impressed.
What I really love is not only do they get their heart rates up, they really enjoy it as well. They are proud of themselves. This is something that we started when each child was three and we never skipped a season. We have done or are doing basketball, karate, ballet, tap, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, gymnastics. While these can expensive, we take advantage of our membership at the YMCA or do it as part of the local parks & rec.
There are many things that we can do as a family and while I tend to have lofty goals, here are five things that really work for us.
5 TIPS FOR GETTING FIT AS A FAMILY
1. Create a family fitness plan.
Make it simple and the goals achievable. It can be something as simple as walking together three days per week and drinking water at every meal. Put it down on paper and post it where everyone can see it. Let your children be in charge of executing the plan.
My girls have gone to the extreme with this but it's ok because we exercise together. The girls note the days we picked on the calendar and then rally to get everyone ready plus give a countdown to when we are leaving. They make it fun. They make sticking to the plan easy.
2. Don't even offer the bad foods.
Bob Greene said getting kids to eat healthy is a matter of training them to eat what is good for them. If your child is choosing chicken fingers and macaroni & cheese all of the time, it is because they have been offered these options. Take those away and offer things that are good for them.
This is not always tough at first but we transitioned through making portion sizes of those bad things smaller and smaller along with vegetable portions getting larger and larger. The kids still get tastes of their favorites but they are huge lovers of all things veggie now. I LOVE THAT!
3. Find fun things to do that fit your child's age.
My youngest has a hard time with getting moving and it is because her older siblings are just much better than she is at certain activities. I find things that she can excel at and when she feels good about herself, she wants to move more.
We have started signing up for family 5K's and training together for them. My kids and I really love doing it plus we all get a t-shirt to remind us.
4. Never force exercise.
The quickest way to get your family off track is to force exercise on everyone. We search for fun activities that we can do together and frankly, they don't feel like exercise. We take walks around our neighborhood searching for the hawks, geese, owls and turtles that live there. Our youngest doesn't care that much so she pushes one of her dollies in a stroller. Everyone is involved in one way or another.
5. Teach the Why.
You know those kids who ask “why?” about everything? We have those kids. In fact, this was a big thing with my two older kids buying into our family fitness activities.
They need to know how eating right fuels their bodies and they know how exercise makes them stronger. We discuss every night at dinner how food fuels our bodies and what foods do that best.
My son really gets this and loves grilled chicken/vegetables. My daughter tries to consciously make better choices.By setting a good examples ourselves, we are adamant about teaching our kids through example.