Your Guide to Raising a Fit and Healthy Family Getting Fit, Having Fun, Building Healthy Family RelationshipsHEALTHY FAMIL...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY                 HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS     Your Family Deserves to Live a F...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY                HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS   Since most families are super busy ...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY                  HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS   eat dinner with their families, t...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY                HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS   When your children are still small ...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY                  HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS   One of the simplest, yet most ben...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY               HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS   Hiking & Walking Trails   Hiking alo...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY                   HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS        • Heightening a sense of we...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY                  HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS   People who participate in tennis ...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY                 HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS   Go to a basketball court, (if you ...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY                HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS   Bocce Ball is a fun backyard game f...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY                    HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS   No, not like the way your child...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY                   HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS   Don’t forget to spend time toget...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY                 HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS   Downhill skiing and snowboarding a...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY                HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS   Plan a workout schedule that can be...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY                    HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS   If you have exercise equipment ...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY                  HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS   After the snow melts, yards tend ...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY                  HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS   Window washing is never an idea o...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY                  HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS   Dust Bunnies Be Gone   Dusting is...
YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY               HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS   Go shopping together, even if it’s o...
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Your Guide to Raising a Fit And Healthy Family

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Guide to getting fit, having fun and building healthy family relationships with your loved ones. Visit: http://www.healthyfamilymatters.com

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Your Guide to Raising a Fit And Healthy Family

  1. 1. Your Guide to Raising a Fit and Healthy Family Getting Fit, Having Fun, Building Healthy Family RelationshipsHEALTHY FAMILY MATTERSErica Brooks Healthy Family Financeshttp://www.healthyfamilymatters.com http://www.healthyfamilyfinances.com
  2. 2. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS Your Family Deserves to Live a Fit, Healthy and Quality Lifestyle - Now More Than Ever Today’s family dynamic is much different than it was 30, or even 20, years ago. Today there are considerably more single parent homes, homes with both parents working outside the home and homes where the grandparents are raising the children. With this change in the family structure and with today’s technology, families are less active and eating out has replaced family meal time togetherness. In this report, youll be given several ideas, tips and suggestions so that you can stay active, eat healthy meals together and more importantly, create a strong family bond that will withstand the test of time, no matter what your family makeup and lifestyle. Youll learn things such as: ▪ Finding Time in Your Busy Schedules to Spend Together ▪ Meal Planning ▪ Cooking Together ▪ Physical Activities to Help the Entire Family Get & Stay Fit ▪ Getting the House Clean & Getting Fit at the Same Time ▪ And much more... Heres to a fit and health family where togetherness makes it possible. Lets get started! A Healthy Family Starts with a Plan HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 2
  3. 3. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS Since most families are super busy with careers, sports, dance, and other extracurricular activities, it’s important to know everyone’s schedule and have it on a calendar. The purpose of this is to know what nights you are able to get the family together for a meal. Updating the calendar weekly is a great way to make sure it stays up to date. In addition, use only one calendar for everyone to write their schedule on to make sure everything is included. For example, when your daughter comes home and announces she is in the school play, get the dates and mark them on the calendar immediately. If your family is technology driven, another way to accomplish this is by using a calendar program in which you can all share one calendar on the computer. Plan your family dinners together on the nights everyone is available. If there are not any nights when everyone is home at the same time, see if there is something that can be cut out or rescheduled for another night. Because feeding is the most basic form of caring, sharing meals is one of the most central of family bonds. Through the mini lessons of table manners, children learn to share and think of others, by saying “please” and “thank you”. The following statistics show that families who have at least 4 meals together are happier, stay together longer and are more successful: More mealtimes at home was the single strongest factor in better achievement scores and fewer behavioral problems in children all ages. More meals at home also resulted in less obesity. More than a decade of research by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University has found that the more often kids HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 3
  4. 4. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs. Experts everywhere agree: Sharing meals helps cement family relationships, no matter how you define "family." "Sitting down to a meal together draws a line around us," says Miriam Weinstein, author of The Surprising Power of Family Meals. "It encloses us and, for a brief time, strengthens the bonds that connect us with other members of our self- defined clan, shutting out the rest of the world." Meal Planning Once you have your schedule set up, then it’s time to plan the meals you are going to eat with your family. Let’s assume you’ve worked out your family schedule so now you actually have 4 nights out of each week to sit down together. Now you want to make those meals healthy because heaven knows the rest of the meals probably aren’t, especially if they involve fast food. Planning ahead makes meal time so much easier, so choose food items like lean meats, leafy vegetables and nice, ripe fruit. Also, stick with whole grains when choosing bread items like rolls, sandwich bread and cereal. One system that seems to work well to help choose healthier foods at the grocery store is to only shop the perimeter of the store. In other words, don’t go down the any of the aisles and just choose foods from the produce section, meat, dairy and breads. This way you are avoiding purchasing prepackaged foods that are full of hidden chemicals and other ingredients that aren’t healthy to consume. Teaching your kids how to plan healthy meals and then shop for them is by taking them to the store with you. I know shopping with kids can be challenging, but when they are involved and get to make some choices, they will enjoy shopping more, and they get the added benefit of that quality time with Mom or Dad. HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 4
  5. 5. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS When your children are still small is the opportune time to teach them healthy eating habits. Let them learn that vegetables really can taste good. One way you can do this is by eating them yourself and when doing so, make it obvious how good they are by using words like “Yum!” and saying things like, “This is so good.” Children really do learn from what they see and hear, so practice saying good, positive things about healthy food in front of them. Cooking Healthy Meals Together Once you have your meals planned out, start cooking them together. This is a great time to teach your children about healthy cooking, and it affords a great bonding time. Cooking doesn’t just have to be about mothers and daughters either. This is a great opportunity for Dads to show off their cooking abilities to their sons and daughters as well. Another option for dads to bond with their kids is while they are grilling. Grilling is a very healthy way to prepare most of your meats and some vegetables. Parents, you can teach your kids how to grill properly and teach them grill safety. This opens up a great bonding time between parents and kids. Physical Activities You Can Do Together as a Family Once you have your family schedule down, you will also be able to see times that you can utilize to get your family together and do something that doesn’t involve a computer, a cell phone or a TV. Walking HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 5
  6. 6. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS One of the simplest, yet most beneficial activities you can do is walking. With spring here, or almost here, depending on your location, walking together as a family can be fun and open up great opportunities for conversation. Walking is known for its health benefits: reducing the risk of disease, like heart attack and stroke, helps with weight loss, raises “good” cholesterol and helps control your blood pressure. It’s About More than Just Exercise Walking can also contribute to the making of a healthy family, and you can do it simply by walking out your front door and around your neighborhood. However, if you prefer, many communities have nice parks or walking trails. As you are walking, talk to each other about your day at work or school, your friends, your goals and your dreams and desires. This is also a good teaching opportunity. Teach your smaller children about nature. You can pick up leaves and rocks along the way and explain what kind of tree they fell from or how rocks are formed. You can also talk about the sun, moon, and atmosphere and the weather; what makes it rain, windy, cold and warm or snow. You may even see some animals along the way; they always make for great conversation. It doesn’t matter what the conversation is; the important thing is to get out and walk as a family to boost your health benefits and to bond your family unit together. Bike Riding Another activity that is simple to implement into just about any family schedule is bike riding. Biking offers a good cardiovascular workout, builds muscle, increases balance and reduces stress. Most people in America have or had a bike as a kid growing up and it was often their form of transportation to school, the corner market or their friend’s house. However, bike riding as a family can be used for a great workout and spending time together. HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 6
  7. 7. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS Hiking & Walking Trails Hiking along nature trails is also a fun family sport that offers great health benefits, opportunities for conversation, and teaching. Hiking usually requires additional skills like map reading and is a great opportunity to teach your children about nature and wildlife. Hiking also includes other skills you may not use on a typical day; there may be some minor climbing involved over boulders and you will want to know what plants are safe and which are not for touching and or eating. You may find some berries along the way that look delicious to eat, but you will want to be sure they are safe for human consumption. You will also want to be aware of any wildlife in your area that could pose a potential threat if you run into them along your hike. Usually if you stick to the trails designated for hiking, this shouldn’t be too big of a problem. Check with your local Department of Natural Resources or National Forest Service before heading out, however. Swimming Swimming is my favorite sport of all. I grew up swimming in Olympic size pools and now that my family and I live near several lakes and beaches, swimming is an integral part of our summer. But, you don’t have to live near a beach to enjoy swimming together as a family. Most communities have public swimming pools where you can enjoy your time together as a family and get the exercise needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Swimming uses just about every muscle in your body and water resistance is greater than air resistance so the muscles have to work harder. Swimming also promotes better circulation, breathing and helps combat the aging process. In addition, swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for toning the upper arms, shoulders and legs. You get great over all body toning by doing the freestyle, breast stroke and back stroke. Swimming also has great psychological benefits such as: • Relieving stress HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 7
  8. 8. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS • Heightening a sense of well being • Increasing energy • Soothes the mind and body Beach & Water Sports Other water sports like skiing, wake boarding and beach volleyball are all activities you can enjoy together as a family. If you have a water skier or wake boarder in the family, have them teach the others. Tubing is another sport that requires some muscle strength. In addition, being out on a boat offers a small space where there’s usually not much room for the kids to escape. Take advantage of it and offer some conversation that will get your kids to open up. Or simply enjoy one another’s time together as a family. Go for a long walk on the beach. Walking in the sand is one of the best leg exercises there is and what better way to exercise, than with your family in beautiful, peaceful surroundings. Volleyball Volleyball is another sport that can be played together as a family. We have volleyball nets in our yard, and as soon as the snow melts and until it flies again in the late fall, you will usually find us outside spiking the ball over the net, or at least trying to. You can usually find volleyball nets and balls fairly inexpensively at Wal-Mart or other sporting goods stores. Believe it or not, they are pretty easy to set up. It’s a great way to get outside together as a family and get some exercise. Tennis Tennis is a sport that can be fun to get your family together to hit some balls back and forth. Most local community centers have tennis courts you can use for free and may even have the equipment available as well. Not only is tennis fun, but it offers great health benefits. HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 8
  9. 9. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS People who participate in tennis 3 hours per week, at moderately vigorous intensity, cut their risk of death in half from any cause, according to a physician who studied over 10,000 people over a period of 20 years. Our grandparent’s generation played a lot of tennis. As a matter of fact, my own grandfather played tennis everyday with his buddies and colleagues and lived to be 94 years of age. In addition to the many physical benefits, tennis has also been shown to: • Build self esteem • Reduce depression and anxiety • Aid in continued brain development Golfing Golf is a sport you may not typically think of as a family sport. However, if you begin teaching your kids at an early age, they will most likely pick it up easily and learn to enjoy it into adulthood. When golfing, try not to use a cart if at all possible. Take the kids along to learn how to play but also let them be your caddy. The walking alone kept will keep everyone in shape and many memories can be made on the golf course. Family Team Sports How about joining a sports team together? Many local churches or community centers have baseball or softball teams that people of all ages and genders can join. Simply get outside and throw a football to each other for half an hour. It’s fun and rewarding! Basketball HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 9
  10. 10. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS Go to a basketball court, (if you don’t have a hoop in your driveway set up), and shoot hoops with your kids for an hour or so. Baseball/Softball Take your family to the batting cages and practice hitting a few balls together. This can be quite expensive, especially if you have a large family. If you’re looking for a way to “Play Ball” without spending a fortune, set up some bases in your backyard or in a park and play baseball or softball as a family. Kickball/Dodge Ball Just like baseball or softball, kickball and dodge ball are two more great family games. You can play right in your backyard and use markers (stones, tree stumps, etc.) as bases. Soccer Soccer is fun and great exercise for all ages. Set up some goals in your yard or go to the soccer field near you when it’s available and kick the ball around. You could also get some other families to join in if desired. More Back Yard Play for Family Fun Hula & Double Dutch Anyone? Other physical activities you can participate in as a family include hula hoop and jump rope contests. Come on Mom and Dad, you can give it a try too. Your kids will love to see you swing those hips and jump up and down trying to keep up with them. Inexpensive Backyard Games the Entire Family Will Enjoy Frisbee and Badminton are other great sports you can do right in your own backyard as a family. Or how about simply playing a game of Tag with your kids? You’ll be surprised at how much exercise you’ll get just running from your kids. HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 10
  11. 11. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS Bocce Ball is a fun backyard game for the whole family. Other fun family backyard games are Croquet, Bolo Ball, Bean Bag Toss and Horse Shoes. Many of these games can be purchased fairly inexpensively or be easily homemade with items lying around your home or in your shed or garage. Bring Back Your Own Childhood Favorites Start a game of street hockey. Remember that from your childhood? If not, it involves a small ball as the puck and some sticks. You may have to teach your kids how to play, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole neighborhood joins you eventually. Of course you should only do this in neighborhoods with minimal traffic. Some other childhood games you can teach your kids, and play with them, are: • Red Rover • Mother May I • Simon Says • TV Tag • Freeze Tag • Hide and Go Seek These are fun activities that get you moving in a variety of ways and once kids learn about them, they will continue playing them for years to come. Did you used to play hopscotch in the driveway or on the sidewalk? If you have a dirt driveway, use a stick to draw the hopscotch board. For concrete or blacktop driveways and sidewalks, you can use sidewalk chalk. You may be able to find a plastic hopscotch game at a local store. Hopping around with your kids is sure to be a memory that will last a lifetime, along with the health benefits. Go Fly a Kite HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 11
  12. 12. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS No, not like the way your children may mean it when they tell their brother or sister to go fly a kite because theyve made them angry either. ;) On a warm, breezy day take your kids kite flying. Kite flying is one of many parents favorite childhood memories. Remember getting the kite as high as you could? When it came back down and the next good wind came along you worked even harder to get it higher than the last time. Ahh…what fun kite flying can be. Running and the use of your arms is wonderful exercise, but the memories you make with your kids is the greatest reward. Mini Golf for Friendly Competition Putt-putt golf, or miniature golf, is one of a lot of kid’s favorite things do to as a family. All the fun and bonding you’ll experience as a family make it worth the cost. Hit the Playground Walk to a nearby park and play with your kids on the monkey bars, swings and a horizontal ladder. Challenge each other to see who can swing the highest, do the most rotations on the monkey bars or get across the horizontal ladder the fastest. Roughing it Can be Great Exercise & Bonding Time Take the family to the river or across the lake in a canoe. Take turns rowing and plan a healthy picnic lunch along the river bank or on the beach. You can usually rent a canoe for a day at a reasonable price, and the quality time spent outweighs the monetary expense. Camping is one of the best family fun times in my book. Go to a campground where you can hike, bike, walk, and of course swim. Take advantage of the natural surroundings to talk together as a family. HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 12
  13. 13. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS Don’t forget to spend time together around the campfire in the evenings reminiscing about the day, planning the next day’s activities or just telling jokes and stories. The great thing about camping is that you can do it right in your own backyard if you want to. No need to spend money on a camping site at a state park or other place far away. Winter Time Activities to Keep Your Family Moving Just because it gets cold out doesnt mean you have to hibernate like bears all winter. Here are some fun ideas for having fun outside during the cold winter months. Be safe and bundle up to stay warm and come inside to warm up frequently when youre playing out in the snow and wind. Enjoy the Snow! - In the winter months, shoveling snow together gets the job done quickly, and is a great workout. Make a snow angel afterwards, which also works the arms and legs. Be sure to build a snowman and have a snowball fight too. Your kids will love it! You can head inside afterwards and warm up with a healthy veggie soup or hot tea. Sledding – If youve got a hill near your house, sledding is a great way to get the heart pumping and have fun too. For the older kids, they can pull the younger ones on the sled for even more of a workout. Skiing & Snowboarding – Whether its Cross Country or downhill, skiing is a great form of exercise the whole family can have fun with. Cross country skiing is an activity the whole family will enjoy. Not only is it a great workout for your entire body, but you can also plan other activities around it like a campfire in the snow. HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 13
  14. 14. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS Downhill skiing and snowboarding are both sports the whole family can learn together. Some resorts offer lessons as a family group and this is not only a great way to get some good exercise, but it brings a family together as they all learn something new together. Ice Skating - There are so many health benefits to ice skating: cardiovascular workout, awesome leg strengthening, and total body workout. Get everyone in your family together and hit the ice (not literally of course). Holding hands while you skate and teaching one another tricks or simply how to skate can form great bonds and memories for your family. Indoor Activities for Family Fitness Okay, now that we’ve covered the many outdoor activities you can do as a family, how about some indoor activities? Whether the weather is cold, rainy or you just cant get outdoors to get some exercise, being inside is not excuse for not keeping your fitness and family togetherness a priority. With today’s technology, gaming system companies have come out with video systems that help promote fitness. One such fitness system is Nintendo’s Wii Fit. Wii Fit is created so that every member of your family can compare their progress together. There are categories of exercise that are perfect for each member of your family: Yoga, Balance, Strength Training and Aerobics. If your family is addicted to video games, or simply just enjoys them, Wii Fit is the perfect solution for getting your family together for some exercise. There is also the Wii Sports where your family can play against one another in sports like bowling, tennis, baseball and more. If youre looking for more of a traditional workout with a few sports throw in, you can get just that with EA Sports Active for the Wii. Active allows each family member to set up a profile that tracks not only your daily workout, but calories burned, eating habits and more. You can even set up a 30 day workout plan to track progress and follow others doing the same in their forum for 30 Day Challenge Active members. HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 14
  15. 15. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS Plan a workout schedule that can be done in your living room. Working out doesn’t have to involve expensive gym equipment. Working out as a family can be fun and beneficial in so many ways. Get creative when it comes to how you get your exercise. Think of ways you can replace pricey equipment with items you have right there in the house. For instance, you can substitute cans of soup for weights when you need some extra resistance in your workout. You can also turn on your favorite upbeat dancing music and make up your own aerobic dance movements or exercises. Your kids will get a blast out of watching you shake your booty, but simply moving around in this manner will give you a great cardiovascular workout. Compete against one another to see who can do the most sit ups or push ups. Even if you know youd lose, participate anyway. It gets you off the couch or out of the computer chair and doing something that is fun and family oriented. Help hold each other’s feet as you do sit ups and have the foot-holder be an encourager to do just one more and so on. This will open up opportunities to teach family members perseverance, how to be a good sport even when they dont win and how win with respect and grace. It will also teach your children the importance of teamwork. Put Those Exercise DVDs Collecting Dust to Use Get out one of those workout DVDs youve purchased and used once (or never) and gather everyone in the living room for a half hour of aerobics or Pilates. Your kids will get a kick out of being on the floor and dancing around with Mommy and Daddy, especially if they are smaller. If you have teens, it may be a bit harder to get them to join you, but with some persistence and seeing how much fun youre having, not to mention how good you look, they will eventually join in. HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 15
  16. 16. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS If you have exercise equipment lying around your house, get it out and start using it. Ask your kids if they would like to learn how to use it. Encourage them to do so. If you have a spare room or space set up a “gym” where you all can workout together. You’ll be surprised at how fast a half hour goes by when you exercise together. Indoor Activities Away from Home You can take your family roller skating at a rink, even when the weathers bad. As with ice skating, roller skating is a great cardiovascular workout, as well as an overall workout for your entire body. Many memories are created when a family goes roller skating together. Yes, they do still have roller skating rinks. ;-) Go bowling as a family. Get one or two lanes right next to each other and bowl to your heart’s content. It’s fairly inexpensive and it’s great exercise your whole family will enjoy. Join a mixed age martial arts class, ballet, gymnastics, or other sports activity as a family. In-line skating is another popular form of skating and can be done indoors or outdoors. Be sure to wear the proper protective gear such as knee pads, elbow pads and helmets to ensure safety and less injury in case of falling. Clean Up & Shape Up Too Cleaning & Exercise Go Hand in Hand When spring is in the air, spring cleaning often comes to the minds of many homeowners. Getting your family together and everyone pitching in is a great way to not only get your home in shape but your bodies too. HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 16
  17. 17. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS After the snow melts, yards tend to be messy with leaves and branches lying all around. Raking is amazing exercise for your arms and bending down and rising up is great for the waist line. Smaller children, as well as teens, will benefit greatly from the exercise they they receive when helping Mom or Dad clean up the yard. Not to mention all the other fun things that happens when a family is outside together. In the fall, rake the leaves into large piles and take turns jumping in them. This makes for great photo opportunities as well, so make sure youve got the camera handy. Gardening Starting a garden, or getting your present garden ready for the new season is also a terrific way to get the family all together. A vegetable garden serves two-fold in helping your family get healthy and fit. Not only will you all benefit from the exercise digging and planting, but youll also reap the rewards of lovely, healthy, all natural fruits and veggies grown by your own hands. Flower beds aren’t just for Moms. Many Dads enjoy flower gardening as well. Why not take the extra step and get the kids involved too. They can learn, help and get exercise all at the same time. I would even go so far as to say that once your kids got their hands in some dirt and learned a little about the flowers they’re planting, they’ll come to love it as much as you do. Another fun outdoor activity is chopping wood. Teens can get involved with the actual chopping which is an amazing workout for the arms, but little ones can get their workout by carrying the wood to the wood pile. Reward afterwards with a campfire. Mowing the lawn probably sounds like more of a chore than a fun family activity. However, if you each take turns, not only will you have a great looking lawn, everyone will have gotten a great workout as well. Scrub a Dub Dub – Washing for Fitness HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 17
  18. 18. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS Window washing is never an idea of fun for most of us, but it can be when done as a family. The reaching, scrubbing and wiping tones your arms and if you have to climb a ladder (do so with caution) this works out your legs and increases balance. Washing the car in the driveway is a fun summer past time in many households. With all the bending and scrubbing, your entire family is sure to get a great workout. It’s also a great excuse to have a water fight! There is something about the bonding that happens when your son or daughter “accidentally” sprays you or their sibling. Cleaning the Inside of the House As much fun as you might have cleaning up and getting fit outside, dont forget about indoors too. After all, thats where your family spends the most time. Sweeping & De-Cluttering Sweeping the cobwebs out of the corners is great exercise for all ages. If your child is tall enough to reach with a broom or duster, they can join in on the action. Cleaning out a closet or junk drawer is a task we all hate to do. But, if you have your kids and hubby help organize the closet or drawer, the task is done quickly and everyone in the house knows where those odds and ends are. Carrying out bags of unused items to take to the nearest resale shop requires muscle usage of the arms and legs. In addition, everyone benefits from lifting (carrying boxes and bags to the car), walking (putting items away in their proper location), and reaching (taking down or storing items up high). Having your kids and hubby help you with these small tasks not only helps you get the work done quicker, it also helps get them off the couch. HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 18
  19. 19. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS Dust Bunnies Be Gone Dusting is a task even the smallest of hands can do. Given proper instruction and using disposable dust clothes, little ones and teens may find they enjoy helping make the house look and feel cleaner. Vacuuming & Shampooing Carpet shampooing requires use of the arms, back and legs. Let your family members run the shampooer across the carpet a few times. This will help take the load off of you and give them a feeling of accomplishment. Redecorating Painting walls can seem like a tedious job, but with the entire family involved it can prove to be great fun, not to mention all the exercise everyone will benefit from. Allow your kids to pick out the color they’d like for their room for starters as a motivator to get them involved. Using a roller brush works the arms and shoulders, not to mention all the benefits of bending and stretching. Use this time together to teach about colors, personal styles or simply to talk about life. In the end, you will have a new and improved home and have made another family memory. As if those activities were not enough to get you thinking and start you planning things you and your family can do together to get fit and healthy, here are a few more to consider. More Activities Families Can Do to Stay Healthy Holidays & Family Gatherings Create your own Olympics events at a family reunion or Holiday party. Be creative and come up with games for everyone of all ages. Walk in holiday parades together, enter activities at an ethnic festivity or join a charitable function like a Relay for Life event or something similar. HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 19
  20. 20. YOUR GUIDE TO RAISING A FIT AND HEALTHY FAMILY HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS Go shopping together, even if it’s only window shopping. All of the walking is great exercise and you can enjoy some family bonding time. Afterwards, top it off with a healthy lunch or dinner out. Give Back & Get Healthy at the Same Time • Adopt a highway, street or park and keep it clean together on a regular basis. • Compete in a walk or run for a cause. There are walks and runs of all sizes that benefit charities and research for diseases such as Autism, Cancer and many more. • Create your own fundraiser for a cause near and dear to your heart. You can do things like a car wash, a run or walk, hold a sports competition, etc. Get creative but make it fun and keep it moving to benefit not only the recipients of the funds, but the participants and volunteers too. As you can see there are so many ways to get your family off the couch, out of the computer chair and away from their cell phones and video games. With a little diligence, effort and persistence you can have a fit and healthy family that spends lots of quality time together doing things that will help everyone be more successful, have better self confidence and self esteem and live a happy and prosperous life. HEALTHY FAMILY MATTERS , HTTP://WWW.HEALTHYFAMILYMATTERS.COM 20

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