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HEALTH Q&A

Family Fitness

Family Fitness

September 30, 2002|by Christine L. Moats

When everyone in the family is going in a different direction, it is hard to spend quality time together. But if you plan family activities built around having fun you can work in some exercise while sharing good times. Mom, dad, and the kids will benefit by fitting more exercise into family life.

Remember to choose activities that appeal to both children and adults. It's also a good idea if they are convenient, inexpensive, and enjoyed in a family-friendly environment.

What are some tips for becoming a more active family?

Make it fun! Do things that both you and your children can do together. Take trips to the local swimming pool, roller skating or blading rink, local baseball diamond, or bowling alley. Variety is the key in keeping your children interested in activity. Try walking or biking in your neighborhood.

Head for the park. Take a group of kids to the park or meet there for a game of Frisbee, tag, dodge ball, or soccer. You don't even have to keep score - just keep moving and it qualifies as exercise.

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Join a club. Join a volkssport club, a walking club meant for all ages. It's a great way to meet people and families that enjoy an active lifestyle. Your local church or community may sponsor activities as well.

Go for a walk indoors. Take your walk indoors if the weather is bad. Your local mall may have times available before opening or you can walk during mall hours. Check local colleges or universities; they may offer indoor walking as well.

Get into the pool. You don't have to swim laps to get a good workout. Try water volleyball, underwater tag, basketball, and swimming races - they will all get your heart rate up.

What are some fun activities that can be done in your own back yard?

Run, jog or walk in a family treasure hunt.

Toss around as many different-shaped balls or other objects as you can find.

Count hula-hoop rotations; jump rope, practice rhythms, and rhymes.

Play a game of hot potato Frisbee.

Play hopscotch and organize a family tournament

Play a game of tag.

Sources: www.canadianparents.com, www.shapeup.org

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