From toddlers to tweens, and from young adults to grandparents, one of the most important ways for every member of the family to stay healthy is to engage in physical fitness.
But how much should each member of your family be working out? It depends on their age.
Physical Activity Guidelines for Each Member of the Family
Family fitness is important for every member of the family. How much physical activity each person should do, and to what degree, depends on age, among other factors.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, children and teens should be physically active for at least 60 minutes on most days. This can be done all together or spread out during the day.
And for both children and teens, remember that their time playing outside at recess, their time in P.E. class, or their participation in a team sport or other activity outside of school, counts towards that 60 minutes.
For adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends aiming for 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity per week. That comes out to about 30 minutes, 5 days a week. However, you can break it up into different intervals if you choose.
One easy way to help ensure that every member of the family stays healthy and active is to find family fitness activities to help families bond and stay healthy! Here are some of our favorites.
Family Fitness Activities
Here are five easy tips!
- Go for a family walk before or after dinner. If you have little kids, alternate time in and out of the stroller.
- Have a family dance party. Let each family member pick a favorite dance tune, and let loose!
- Start doing brief fitness activities during family T.V. time; it’s easy to sneak in crunches, jumping jacks, or push-ups during commercial breaks. As an added bonus, it’ll make the commercials go by that much more quickly!
- Sign-up for a charity run or walk. There are lots of fun options out there, and many that are made so that kids can enjoy themselves!
- Make a game out of yard work. Picking up sticks, raking leaves, or shoveling snow can all be lots of fun, especially if they get to jump in the leaves or build a snowman afterward!
Incorporating Family Fitness Into Daily Life
Even when you’re not participating in a family bike ride, hike, or pickup basketball game, there are more ways to sneak family fitness activities into your daily life. Here are a few tips:
- Choose a parking space further away from the school, mall, or grocery store so that you have to walk further.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
- Avoid devices like remote controls or electric mixers. Substitute those labor-saving stirring that cookie mix by hand, getting up each time you want to change the channel, etc.
- Have a situp competition while watching a favorite family movie or T.V. show.
- Have kids help with housework. Get them sweeping, dusting, vacuuming, and washing windows. If you have a housekeeper, cancel their next few visits and reap the fitness benefits of cleaning for yourself.
- Get off the bus, train, or subway a stop early and walk.
- Replace one short drive each week with a family walk.
- Have “brisk walking” races with each other in the mall.
- On hikes or walks, walk up hills instead of going around them.
- Play a game of “Simon Says” where the “Simon” has to use a pair of hand weights.
- If you’re a parent watching your kids’ soccer game or swim meet, pace up and down the field, pool, or court while you’re cheering!