One can often hear adults say, “I don’t get much exercise because I work a desk job.” The same can be said for many students, particularly in the older grades. It can be difficult to make sure that both children and adults get enough exercise – 30 minutes a day is the recommended minimum amount. So how can families make sure that they maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise?
There are many fun and unique ways that families can be “on the move,” even during the colder and wetter months when many of us are not brave enough to venture outside! Family activity time can be a great opportunity to bond, talk about your day, and get that all-important exercise. Below are some ideas you can try at home. Remember, activities don’t have to be expensive to be effective!
- Each family member takes turns telling others about their day. While one person is speaking, the other family members will engage in light exercise, such as lunges or squats. You can even change the type of exercise when the next person begins their story.
- Use a deck of cards to help you decide which exercise to do, and for how long. Assign an activity for each suit (for example, hearts = jumping jacks). When someone turns up a heart (for example, the 5 of hearts), they must do the activity designated to that suit. In this case, the person would do 5 jumping jacks.
- Participate in outdoor activities – take a walk with the family pet, go to a toboggan hill, or build a snowman.
- Try your hand at new activities – laser tag, mini golf, and bowling are all great activities that are fun for all ages!
At school, students learn the importance of regular exercise through their Daily Physical Activity (DPA) exercises and through the Ontario Health curriculum. However, it is just as important for parents to ensure they are also getting enough exercise at home during the weekend and holidays! Together as a family, all of us can work to achieve a healthier, more active lifestyle. So get out of your seat and jump around!