Get your family moving!

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There’s no faster way to feeling good than regular exercise. Most people begin to feel stronger and have more energy within days of starting a moderate exercise program.

Exercise is something we all need to do for optimum health and wellness. So why not make exercise a part of your family’s weekly calendar? Here are some ideas on how to get you and your family moving:

Walk to school. Walking to school gets sleepy muscles and brain cells moving. These days, more and more students are being driven to school, even if families live close by. This trend is not only contributing to reduced physical activity and childhood obesity but also urban congestion and air pollution.

Reduce the amount of television and computer time by 30 minutes day. Discuss the importance of physical activity as an important part of staying healthy and get your family’s input on what physical activities they like to do or try. Use that extra half hour a day to get moving!

Turn yard work into a family activity. Rake up fall leaves together and let everyone take a turn jumping into the pile! In the wintertime have the kids help with the snow cleaning and use the cleared snow to build a fort!

Be a role model by being active yourself. Don’t just ferry the kids to their sports practices and sit on the sidelines all the time. Join a team or club of your own — most communities have adult running clubs, hiking clubs, and informal basketball and soccer pick-up games.

Set up an obstacle course in the backyard. Scan the garage for old tires, buckets clotheslines, cardboard boxes etc. Let the kids be as creative as they want – the wackier the course is the better. Take a few practice runs then get out the stopwatch for family team time trials — best time doesn’t have to do the dishes!

Put exercise in your Blackberry
It’s easy to flake out on ourselves; it’s much harder to flake out on friends or others with whom we’ve made plans. Schedule walks with your spouse, a friend or a neighbour. Having a commitment to others not only makes us more likely to stick with it, it also makes it more fun.

Dance in your kitchen. It’s raining outside and the kids are climbing the walls. You decide to put on some music and start dancing. One thing’s for sure – you will have their attention. Now that you have it, keep it! Teach your kids some moves — an 80’s moonwalk demo or shake your booty. Learn some new moves from them and follow their lead – they will love being in charge and who knows, the kitchen dance party may become a family tradition!

For more ideas on how to get moving, check out the So Good Lifestyle Tracker.