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How to Create Family Fitness at Your House

By Sandy Schroeder

Like it or not, our children often watch us very closely and copy everything we do. If we are not out there exercising every day, they may not be either.

Pam Howard, mother of two and certified health coach, explained it on PBS.org. She said, “Parents who exercise with their children are not only teaching them how to live a healthy lifestyle, they are also reinforcing family bonds and creating wonderful family traditions.”

As you and your kids get fit, you may find everything else that you do goes better too. Here are seven simple ways to exercise with your family.

Produce a video - Help your family create an exercise video. Let each member demonstrate their specialty as they become the stars. Later you may find they will use the video on their own to exercise more.

Add a lot of steps - Wherever you are with your family, make the effort to walk or bike instead of driving. Walk more to run local errands and explore your neighborhood. After dinner, walk the dog or walk to the park.

Get outside every day - The outdoors can add another dimension to health, lifting the spirit, and adding sunshine and fresh air to the effort. Look for special hiking trails, inviting lakes, or camping areas to make family fitness more fun.

Set a daily exercise time - Plan for fitness every day, using the time to play a family game of football, shoot hoops or play soccer or volleyball. Or try a yoga session or cross-training routine. Keep changing the routines to hold everybody’s interest and talk about what you are doing. This may be a good time for kids and parents to learn a new sport through a community or gym class.

Take a commercial break - When commercials come on, make it family time to do push-ups, jumping jacks or running in place. The sheer momentum of everyone moving will make it fun and get all of you off of the couch.

Try dancing - When everybody seems to be glued to the couch playing video games or watching sports, it may be time to turn up the volume to dance. Let the dancing and giggles flow as the mood lifts and everybody moves more.

Sample some electronic fitness - You and your kids could be scored in dancing, boxing, bowling or some other sport, adding another dimension to your exercise session.

Family fitness is well worth the effort. Keep trying for the right combination for your family. You will know you have reached it when you see everybody smiling.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Flower Mound, Tex.

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