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Being active is a family affair

Kids run with mom outsideApproach the need for physical activity as an opportunity to build relationships with family. Adults need at least 2.5 hours of physical activity per week, while children need 60 minutes a day. Check out these tips from ChooseMyPlate.gov for ideas about how your family can become more active:

  1. Set specific physical activity times when the whole family is available. The best times can be after dinner or on weekends.
  2. Plan your activity and keep track of your progress. Children can document family activities on a calendar.
  3. Include active chores around the house. Even raking, weeding, planting and vacuuming build muscles and flexibility.
  4. Use what is available. Special equipment is not needed for effective physical activity. Being active can be as easy as taking a walk, jogging, dancing, jumping rope or playing tag. Check local community recreation centers – your city or county Parks and Recreation Department – for low-cost or free programs.
  5. Build new skills. Enroll your family in tennis, swimming, martial arts, yoga or dance classes.
  6. Plan for all weather conditions. Indoor activities can be mall walking, indoor swimming, ping pong, spinning class, racquetball or active video games.
  7. Turn off the television. Set a rule that no one spends more than two hours a day looking at a screen, whether it’s on the computer (with the exception of school work), watching TV or playing video games.
  8. Start small. Do one new family activity at first and add more as your family becomes more fit.
  9. Include others. Invite your extended family and friends to play active games with your family or to join a recreational club.
  10. Treat your family with fun activities. Celebrate family events with an active outing like visiting a zoo, rowing a river, going to the beach or playing at a park.