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How to Make Fitness a Daily Habit at Your House

By Sandy Schroeder

To really start exercising more and pulling your family into it, too, can be tricky. Most of us settle into a groove this time of year and a lot of it involves sitting. Hanging out on the couch to play video games or watch movies and sports can be all too easy. suggests some ways to reverse the flow to get everybody moving.

Get outdoors for family fitness – As the weather warms up, take your family out for river walks, swimming, or hiking with picnics or barbecues. Start a weekend tradition of outings to keep things going. Collect suggestions from each family member and post the plans on a family bulletin board. As fiestas, festivals, and hike or bike excursions happen, be sure to post pictures too.

Take classes together – Parent/child classes or individual ones at your local park or community centers may make fitness fun. Horseback riding, gymnastics, karate, dance, golf, tennis, swimming or dance lessons may add the needed spark. This may be a good time to revive old favorites, too. Helping your kids learn the ropes in boating and kayaking could become a lifelong pleasure.

Rethink the family room – Add some fitness ingredients to the usual mix of DVDs and video games. Bring in workout gear in a basket, ready to use. Resistance bands, kettlebells, yoga mats, and jump ropes are good starter choices. Add individual mitts or gloves as the season moves along.

Assign active chores – Work up a family plan to get the work done and make sure everybody pitches in. Younger members can tote out old newspapers or help bathe pets. Teens can help vacuum, wash windows, clean out closets or trim the bushes. Keep rotating tasks so nobody gets stuck washing the windows every time, and everybody gets rewarded with hard cash or dinner out.

Keep walking in the picture – Of all of the activities available, walking may be the one that consistently keeps us going. Walking the dog, doing errands, or just walking through the park at the end of the day is something you can do with your kids at almost any age. Five-year olds will want to collect leaves or rocks, and 12-year olds may become bored but still want to take the opportunity to talk if you stop for ice cream too.

Keeping everyone active may mean becoming the fitness coach who blows the whistle, but if it works you’ll be glad you did. There’s nothing like a great afternoon on the water or a bike to the park with a barbecue to mellow everybody out and make fitness fun.

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

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