A Health and Fitness Guide for the Family

Life can be hectic and demanding with all of the responsibilities of raising children, pursuing a career, and making financial ends meet. Staying healthy and happy together is a win-win situation for everyone. Parents and kids can take steps to enjoy better physical health, spend time together being active, and engage in other positive activities such as playing games, cooking, and doing household chores. Everyone needs daily exercise and healthful food, and planning health and fitness activities to do as a family can keep everyone involved.

Family Exercise Plan

Fitting exercise into a daily routine may feel challenging. Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, and doctors urge kids between the ages of 6 and 17 to get at least one hour of moderate or vigorous exercise every day. Regular exercise helps protect everyone from heart disease and obesity. Embark on a family fitness plan that involves everyone getting some physical activity every day. Whenever possible, plan activities to do together as a family. You could walk the dog together, take a family bike ride or hike, do household chores, go swimming, or play active games outside. Make a chart to track the days that you exercise as a family, and plan a reward for the family when you reach goals. For example, you might plan a day at a local amusement park or a trip to the beach.

Fun Family Outdoor Activities and Games

Playing active games might be the best way to get valuable exercise while spending enjoyable time together. Old-fashioned playground games such as tag, hide and seek, and red rover are just a few suggestions of games you could play outdoors in the yard. You might also try learning some jump-rope rhymes for jumping rope, or you could draw a big hopscotch board on the sidewalk with chalk and play hopscotch. If your kids enjoy organized sports such as softball or soccer, look for local opportunities to play on a team.

Delicious Family Snacks

With daily activity, you'll need to feed the gang some healthy snacks that satisfy their hearty appetites. Whenever possible, stick to whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Whole-grain items such as popcorn, baked tortilla chips, and protein bites with grains such as oats and cracked wheat are delicious, healthy choices as well. Organic fruit leather, fruit pouches, uncured meat sticks, low-fat cheese cubes, and low-fat protein bars are also good picks. You could also make homemade snacks such as celery and peanut butter, apple slices with cheese curds, or naturally sweetened fruit muffins. Making snacks together in the kitchen is an excellent way to teach cooking skills and nutrition at the same time.

Family Happiness

Happy families usually have strong bonds built on respect and genuine affection. Carve out time to spend relaxing as a family without always running to activities and scheduled events. Make it a priority to enjoy each other's company, spend time together daily, eat together every day, create family rituals, have daily snuggle time, play games, embark on small and large adventures, and connect with meaningful conversations. These activities help nurture emotionally healthy children while also creating memories that kids will treasure forever.

Written by

Tomas Hoyos

Tomas is the co-founder and CEO of Voro, the healthcare social network where people share doctor recommendations with their friends and neighbors. Tomas loves a good book and mostly writes about current events in healthcare and tips to stay healthy. Prior to co-founding Voro, Tomas was a healthcare investor and investment banker. Tomas is a graduate of Harvard University where he majored in Government.