As a family, we can often find time to go for meals or to visit the grandparents, but do we find time to exercise? As the statistics keep showing us, we are not getting healthier at all. Obesity and diabetes are higher than they have ever been, and what’s more, our children are gaining a lot of weight, even those under the age of ten! And with the amount of apps and games that we can play on our smartphones, it means that we are all becoming lazier! You can blame the invention of computer tablets, or you can take the blame for not setting a better example to your kids. We all want to be fit and healthy, and it is all about getting into the habit of exercise. If we start off by attempting a marathon, we will give up all too early. The secret is about making a habit out of everything. Build up slowly, and even when we have young babies the idea of exercise is the furthest thing away from our mind, but by implementing the smallest nugget of exercise into our daily practices, it will set us up for better habits when the children are older. What things can you do to turn exercise into a habit and not a chore?
Go For Walks
In Italy, it is common to go for a “fare passeggiata,” which is just going for a walk before your meal. It helps to speed up your digestive system, and by going for a walk before your evening meal, you are getting some good family time in together. By building in the daily practice of going for a 30 to 40-minute walk before eating, you are getting in the recommended daily minimum of exercise. And once the walks become too easy, change the gradient, go up hills and mountains!
People have the idea that exercise has to be a difficult task, and you won’t see any benefits unless you really make yourself struggle to breathe by the end of it. Instead, do a fun sport, or something that gets you all running around, like Bumper Ball, which is where people wear bubble soccer suits and bump into each other. It’s a safe sport to play without getting injured, but it will get the heart pumping too. Playing is excellent cardiovascular exercise, so get the kids up and playing, whatever the activity. Even playing tag is a great way to make the kids run the equivalent of a mile without even realizing it!
If you like to play a song at home, then having a dancing session is a wonderful method to get active. Having a boogie is a way to have fun at home while also getting the blood pumping. There are so many different things that aren’t traditionally viewed as “exercise” but it also gets the heart racing, and that is the trick to sneaking exercise, not just into your children’s daily routine, but yours too!
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