Posted in How To's, wellness

5 FUN (AND FREE!) WAYS TO GET YOUR FAMILY MOVING

There’s a popular hash tag on Instagram and Twitter accounts throughout the Portland, Oregon area used by people who want to show others the best places to exercise!  The hashtag #outsideisfree represents the underlying message that you don’t need expensive health clubs, yoga class or pilates membership because… OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES ARE FREE!  

Exercise is more essential than ever for families. Childhood obesity rates in America have tripled in the last 30 years and one in five children in America are overweight or obese. Interestingly enough, these children are also spending approximately 7.5 hours a day in front of all sorts of screens. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that in order to counteract that, children 6 years of age and older should be getting at least 60 minutes of exercise a day.

My point? JUST GET MOVING! — be it walking, biking, running or dancing — and make it a part of everyday life. Here are five (FUN) ways families are staying active this year!

Walk. Walking is the easiest and most beneficial form of movement out there!  It doesn’t have to be an expedition to a nearby hiking trail. It could simply be taking a walk around the block together after a meal or with your little one after school to hear about their day.

Dance. Make it a family thing to get the heart pumping along with some music that’s jumping. The memories alone will be worth it.

Bike. Bicycling will be something that children remember forever! If safety allows, encourage your kids to ride up and down the street, behind you as you run, or on the beach! trail. There are often safe bike route to schools (which could be a mode of transportation to supplement walking there, HINT HINT)

Yard work. It’s outside, and it’s more together time and encourages hard work (and play!) Rake the leaves into a pile and let the kids jump in. Or, give a child a portion of the garden to call their own (with weeding responsibilities if you’re smart).

Play. Play with games, puzzles, things from nature or a ball. A ball to kick, a ball to throw and catch, etc. Simple things like jump rope, sidewalk chalk, the monkey bars, a game of HORSE or PIG, even visiting a playground will foster a sense of play in children that can (and should) complete with electronic entertainment.

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