Be a Fit Family

We all want to be healthy and fit. Being active is a great way to get there. What could be better than to be active with your loved ones!

Physical activity is good for all of us – at any age. Adults need 2½ hours a week of physical activity, and children need 60 minutes a day. Check out these tips to add more activity to your family’s busy routine.

Plan the time

Find time slots in the week when the whole family is at the house. Pick a few of these times to be active times. Try doing something active after dinner or start the weekend with a Saturday morning walk.

Track what you do

Write your activity plans on a calendar. Let the kids help in planning. Allow them to check it off after doing each activity.

Work around the house counts 

Have the kids play a role yard work. Also, they can do other active chores around the house. Have them help you with raking, weeding, planting, or vacuuming.

Use what you have 

Plan things to do that need little or no supplies. Think of things such as walking, jogging, jumping rope, playing tag, and dancing. Find out what your local rec center offers for free or a small charge.

Build new skills 

Sign-up the kids in classes they might enjoy, such as dance, or tennis. Help them practice. This will keep things fun and interesting. Plus, they learn new skills!

Be ready for all types of weather 

Choose some activities that do not need good weather. Mall walking, indoor swimming, or active video games – all can be great fun. Enjoy being outdoors when the weather is nice.

Turn off the TV 

Set rules about using any type of thing that has a screen. Limit time to no more than 2 hours per day. This counts for playing video games, watching TV, and using the computer. Instead of a TV show, play an active family game, dance to favorite music, or go for a walk.

Start small 

Begin by sharing one new family activity. Add more when you feel they are ready. Take the dog for a longer walk. Also, play another ball game or go to another exercise class.

Join with other families 

Invite others to join your family activities. This is a great way for you and your kids to spend time with friends and be active. Plan parties with active games. Try or set up an obstacle course. Sign-up for family programs at the YMCA, or join a club.

Treat the family to a fun activity 

It is time to celebrate as a family. Do some­thing active as a reward. Plan a trip to the zoo, park, or lake to treat the family.

For more info, go to www.ChooseMyPlate.gov

Source: DG TipSheet No. 29, April 2013, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, United States Department of Agriculture.

Being active together helps set habits for a lifetime. You and your kids then have better chances of being healthier in the days and years ahead. For more tips and tools for being active, call Four Corners Health Department at 402-362-2621 or send email to info@fourcorners.ne.gov. Enjoy the big outdoors with your family!