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Apr/May 2012 11
Physical Activity
Exercise is important
.
Many
families don’t get any activity each day
.
It
may not afect a young person but it will
catch up with you sooner than you
think if you currently
have a sedentary
lifestyle
.
Get your
family moving
.
One of
the biggest
deterrents
to consistent
exercise is lack of accountability
.
When a family exercises together they help
each other to stay motivated and stick with
it
.
Someone is always there to push you
to go the extra mile and get the best from
yourself that you can
.
Find an activity that you like
.
If you like what you are doing you will
continue to do it
.
If everyone likes to ride
bikes that is one way to get at least 30
minutes of exercise each day
.
And, when
it’s fun, then it feels efortless
.
Family Activities
Here is your chance to
prove that it’s true
.
Setting
aside family time allows the
family to appreciate and
get to know each other
.
It
might be a bit challenging
to get this going at frst,
but everyone will be glad
of the efort when it gets
going
.
Here are some tips
to begin
.
Set aside a day to do it -
Some have family game night or you can
use Saturday morning
.
If teenagers have
jobs or commitments with friends, let them
know that family time is set each week and
not up for negotiation
.
You can have a
revolving family day each week if you want
to accommodate everyone
.
Choose activities you can
do as a family -
Since you have
begun an exercise program together, this
is separate
.
You don’t have to do anything
exercise related
.
Come up with more
Here are some suggestions for
family physical activity:
After dinner walk -
Afer your
family dinner, throw the dishes in the
dishwasher and take a stroll around the
neighborhood
.
Tis also gives you time
to discuss your day or talk about family
vacation plans
.
Bike ride in the park -
You
can do it afer dinner or for a weekend
exercise activity
.
Head to your favorite park
and put that helmet on
.
Have a contest to
see who is the fastest
.
Make it fun
.
Use the back yard -
Who
says that a family can’t play kickball or
volleyball together? A pick
-
up game can be
arranged anytime
.
In the evening, a good
run will tire the little ones out so they sleep
through the night
.
Take an exercise class
together -
If you want something
new to do, take a dance class together
.
Te
hottest thing these days is Zumba ftness
.
It is a combination of Latin, hip
-
hop, and
salsa dancing with other moves thrown in
.
It is contagious and can burn as much as
1,000 calories in an hour
.
Take turns choosing
activities -
Tis way each person gets
a chance to try something new
.
How about
rollerblading or jogging or basketball?
When everyone is involved, they feel
represented
.
Family
Communication
Skills
Many families don
-
t
communicate anymore
.
We
keep a lot of things to ourselves
because we haven
-
t set aside
time for this type of face
-
to
-
face
meeting
.
Parents and kids can
learn so much from each other
when they actually sit down and
talk
.
Here are some tips to help
foster good communication
skills in a family
.
Set aside family meeting
time -
Tis is when everyone can talk
about what is bothering them
.
Parents can
also bring up any fnancial issues that afect
the entire household
.
Any questions that
need discussing can be brought up and
discussed
.
Tere is no time limit on family
meeting time
.
When everyone has had
their say, the meeting can end
.
creative ideas
.
Here are a few
:
see a movie,
see a play, go bowling, go camping, game
night or play an interactive video game like
the Wii
.
Create a bedtime routine -
For little kids, this could mean a story at
bedtime before they get tucked under the
covers
.
For older kids it could be a talk
about their day on the couch before retiring
to their room
.
They
say that
the family
that plays
together stays
together.