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Why Family Exercise is SO Important!

27/06/2013 | Child Health, Exercise, Nutrition, Parent Health, Room to Grow | by Catherine Godiva

One of the best things that you can do for your children to set them up with healthy habits that they will use as they continue into adulthood is to exercise together with them as family. There are so many things that you can do that the sky’s the limit as far as choosing an activity to do together and, as long as it involves a little sweat and lots of movement, you’ll not only be building strong bonds with your kids you’ll be ensuring that they become healthy adults.

Determining what you can do together as a family depends on a number of factors including how many people are actually in your immediate family and how committed you  and the kids are to doing something together. From jogging to swimming to playing football there are numerous choices and those choices will sometimes involve quite a bit of commitment. Determining how far and to what extent you’re willing to go before you start buying any sort of equipment is a great idea.

For example, if you’re just going to throw a football around you’ll need a football of course and a large enough area to throw it. On the other hand if you decide that bicycling is a great way to spend time with your family and get exercise at same time the amount of money that you will need to invest goes up substantially. If you are fortunate to have a swimming pool at home you have a built-in exercise area that can also be a lot of fun but if you don’t and you are keen on swimming together as a family you’ll need to find a local pool and pay for membership. Knowing these things ahead of time will help you determine exactly what you’d like to do.

Getting your kids involved in any type of physical activity at a young age is very important for not only their physical well-being but also their psychological and mental well-being. Having something fun an interesting in common with mum or dad can impart quite a bit of pride in a child’s psyche, a trait that will help them immensely as adults. When you exercise with your children you show them that keeping their body in shape is important and you do it in the best way possible, by doing it yourself. Many of today’s top athletes credit their mother or father for having started them in sports early and showing them how to play, throw, run, swim and what have you.

There are some families that are so committed to exercising together that they hire a personal trainer to put together a program for everyone in the family based on their individual needs. We’re not saying that this is  a necessity by any means but just that, if it is financially possible, it’s something that you can do that will be beneficial for every member of the family as individuals but also bring you together as a group.

Keeping things interesting can be a challenge and so you might want to use challenges to keep things interesting. For example, one family member could pick a different type of exercise at the beginning of the week and challenge the rest of the family to see who can do the most reps at the end of the week. Having some type of small reward system to keep everyone motivated would be a good idea but isn’t a necessity. The main focus here is that everyone improves together as a group.

In the end what you’ll be doing is not only something beneficial for everyone’s health but also something that will bring everyone in the family closer together and create stronger, longer-lasting family bonds. The sense of belonging, pride and accomplishment that can accompany family exercise shouldn’t be forgotten either. Indeed, exercising with your children may be just the thing you need to bridge the generation gap and to keep open healthy lines of communication now and as they get older, something that will make everyone’s life a little less stressful.


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