January Is Family Fit Lifestyle Month
By Pamela Redwine
Active Living helps your family enjoy life! Moving more boosts energy and promotes sound sleep. And it’s a lifelong way for you and your child to stay healthy and keep a healthy weight. In fact, active living lowers the chances of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease – for your and your child.
How can you raise an active child?
1. Get moving yourself! Children often “inherit” their family’s lifestyle. If you do active things, chances are your child will, too. Adults set the tone for active living in the family.
2. Fit activity in your family life. You don’t need to spend extra money, or even get involved in sports. You can all be active – just by doing everyday things.
3. Do more than watch. Play! Let yourself feel young enough to play, especially with your child. Playing is okay at any age! If you forget how, your child can show you. Your involvement and enthusiasm support your child’s play.
4. Set limits on TV and computer time – for the whole family. That leaves more time for active play.
5. Parents need to remember – children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity on most days. Competitive sports aren’t the best choice for most young children. Children naturally start to do things in groups around eight to 10 years of age. Let them choose the type of activities they enjoy.
6. Now, here is a guideline for you- parents – Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days. A moderate activity is equal to walking 1 miles in 30 minutes. Three 10 minute chunks of active time are okay, too. If you’ve been out of action for a while, start slowly.
7. There are also some everyday things that we do that can get your family moving
- a. Walk to the playground, store or a friend’s house.
- b. Use stairs when you can
- c. Sweep the sidewalk
- d. Wash the car or the dog
- e. Put away toys (bending and standing)
- f. Wash, sweep, or vacuum floors
- g. Dust or polish furniture
- h. Pick flowers or vegetables. Dig weeds
- i. Rake leaves
- j. Play with your pet
- k. Park at the far end of the lot, so you all get to walk
- l. Help an older neighbor or relative with these tasks.
Your family probably has some things that you live to do that gets you moving. Just remember it is important to help children establish healthy active lifestyles early so that they will not suffer with problems such as obesity, diabetes, and other health problems….And it is good for you too.