Keep Active Together
Alliance for a Healthier Generation
November 21, 2023
Staying active as a family is important for every family member’s physical health, especially around the holidays. If you are a parent or caregiver, learn how to prioritize movement and foster play and physical activity year-round. Our partners at Alliance for a Healthier Generation have great resources with ways to keep active together!
Benefits of Play and Physical Activity
Regular physical activity is necessary to maintain good health and it is a great way to spend time with family. Benefits include better sleep and improved physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
No matter your age, finding time to be active through play is important. It supports not only our physical, but also our social and emotional well-being. For adults, play can help reduce stress, strengthen interpersonal relationships, and stimulate your brain in different ways than a typical workday. Play can help kids learn valuable skills such as turn-taking, sharing, problem-solving, or coping with feelings of disappointment when they lose a game.
Living a healthier, more physically active lifestyle doesn’t require expensive equipment or memberships. There are fun, creative ways to improve your family’s physical activity habits.
How to Prioritize Play and Physical Activity
With today’s busy schedules, finding time to stay active as a family can be challenging. You may not even realize how much (or how little) you are moving already. Before jumping into a new activity, first track your family’s daily activities for a week. Notice times when your family is more active and when you are less active. Think of activities or tasks you already do that can be increased or easily added to your daily or weekly routines.
Tips to Get the Whole Family Moving
- Focus on fun! Let family members take turns choosing an activity.
- Schedule activity time daily.
- Choose movement that the whole family can enjoy. Select activities that can be enjoyed in different ways, like dancing, yoga, and stretches, so that every family member can focus on movement that feels good to them.
- Utilize local parks. Being outdoors is a great way to be active.
- Turn routine household chores into an active game. Make a pile of clean socks and race to see who can successfully match and pair up the most socks.
- Choose simple activities that do not require equipment.
- Create weekly activity goals. Track each family member’s weekly activity time or their number of steps, push-ups, etc. Then, add up your family’s total at the end of the week to see how close you get to your goal.
Fostering Play and Physical Activity
One key to staying active as a family is to find fun physical activities to engage in year-round. When the weather limits your outdoor physical activity opportunities, consider indoor locations that could incorporate physical activity, like bowling alleys or going for walks in a local mall.