Build Good Habits All Year Long
The key to building healthy habits is finding a way to make health fun throughout the year. One of the best ways to instill good habits in kids is to make exercise a family activity. In warm weather, taking after-dinner walks is an excellent way to get in some family fitness. What else can parents do throughout the year to vary activities and help kids build healthy habits?
1. Make parking into a game
When going to the grocery store, shopping mall, or on any other errand, choose the parking spot furthest from the door. Have the kids count the steps to the store entrance. Keep track of the family record and try to get an even higher step count on each errand.
2. Start a garden
Gardening can be great exercise. Try starting a family garden to grow herbs, vegetables, and flowers. Not only is getting outside together a fun family activity, but kids can significantly benefit from learning about growing food at home.
3. Make family time active
There are lots of ways to spend time together on the weekends. Instead of going to a movie, choose activities that also offer exercise. Consider creating a scavenger hunt in the backyard, playing sports like soccer or football, or exploring a new playground. Even an evening walk can be turned into a game with combinations of sprinting, jumping, or squatting.
4. Have rainy day dance parties
When getting outside isn’t an option, there are still opportunities to stay active indoors. Let family members rotate between choosing songs and have a dance party together. Dancing can be a great aerobic workout, and some old-school music choices are sure to bring levity and playful teasing.
5. Plan active vacations
While relaxing on the beach is still a great getaway, find vacation spots where the whole family can also have some outdoor activity. Skiing, hiking, rock climbing, surfing, or canoeing are all great ways to get active while enjoying some time off.
Be the example
One of the most significant ways to instill healthy habits in kids is to set a good example. While today’s technology can offer many benefits, electronics can be a quick distraction from physical activity. Make sure to get some exercise most days of the week and reinforce healthy habits with nutritious meals and snacks. For more tips on building healthy family habits, speak with a family medicine healthcare provider.