So far I’ve talked a lot about healthy eating habits for families. I’ve posted recipes, healthy substitutions, and other basic healthy and provident living ideas. For a while I’ve been wanting to post about exercise because I think it’s essential for an optimally healthy family. Adequate exercise, scheduled and impromptu is very important for all members of a family. In our family, here are some ways that we include exercise into our daily activities:
Walking – I love to go on walks with the kids. It helps the kids to want to go even more when we have a goal – like the library, the park or other errands we need to run. Sometimes, I’ll take “the long way” on purpose to extend my walk. It saves on gas too! We also like to walk together as a family. We often go on walks with the kids at night. We love to bundle the kids up in the winter and go on walks at night. The quiet, peaceful evenings are so relaxing, but invigorating at the same time.
Active Play – Children need to have exercise. Young children naturally love running, skipping, jumping – anything that is active. We can develop their love for exercise early by promoting active play. When the whole family is involved in active play it turns into a lot of fun.
Working together – Families can get a lot of exercise by working together in the home or yard. We like to work out in our yard and garden. My husband puts the smaller children on his back and mows the lawn or shovels the snow. This allows him to spend time with them, build his endurance (with the added weight) and teach them how to work all at the same time!
Scheduled Exercise - I have an especially hard time getting enough exercise in the winter months. When I find that I'm not getting enough exercise, usually it's because I haven't scheduled a time for it to happen. I enjoy doing aerobics. With little kids, I can't take a class very easily so I often do the pre-recorded classes on TV or DVDs. If I'm feeling brave, I'll let them do it with me, otherwise I'll do it after they've gone to bed or are taking naps. I really like the shows produced by BYU: Total Body Workout - especially the aerobic ones. But if you like yoga, they also have those. You can find the streaming at http://www.byu.tv/.
If your New Year's resolutions involve exercising or getting in shape, I hope this has given you some ideas. Whatever you choose to do, try to stay with it, even if it's just for a consistent short amount of time a few times a week. It's better to start out slow so you don't get burnt out and end up dismissing your goals. I wish you luck on your goals!
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