Health Guide     Healthy Kids     Teen Health    


Keep your family fit

family fitness and healthy family tips

1. Limit sedentary activities such as television, video games, and computer time to 2 hours per day. Remember, TV commercials encourage children to crave the foods they see!

2. Parents should limit their own time in front of the television. This will set a good example for their kids, as well provide increased interaction time.

3. Parents and children should exercise, such as doing sit-ups, push-ups or running in place, while watching television (or at least during commercials). Discourage snacking or eating meals while watching, as well.

4. Plan weekend family activities involving exercise, such as swimming, bicycling, mini-golf, tennis, or bowling.

READ MORE: 7 healthy habits for fall fitness

5. Help your child plan group activities with their friends or plan activities with friends and neighbors, such as skating or hiking.

6. Have your kids brainstorm a game plan of indoor activities - such as jumping jacks, Simon Says, or mall walking - for rainy or bitterly cold days.

7. Remember that your family does not need to join a health club or buy fancy equipment to be active. Walking is inexpensive and easy. So is designing a backyard obstacle course. Weights can be made from soda or detergent bottles filled with sand or water!

8. Provide positive rewards for your child for engaging in physical activities, such as workout clothes, a new basketball, or an evening of roller-skating.

9. Provide positive feedback about your child's lifestyle changes. Remember not to focus on the scale (for you or your child).

10. Be your child's "exercise buddy." Plan daily walks or bike rides. Set goals together for increasing physical activity - not for losing weight.

READ MORE: What parents need to know about childhood diabetes

11. As you schedule your child's extracurricular activities, remember to plan time for exercise and activity as a priority for the entire family. Don't just "squeeze it in."

12. Encourage children to try individualized sports such as tennis and swimming. Studies show such activities are the basis of lifelong fitness habits.

Source: American Physical Therapy Association