Too often in today’s world “family time” involves sitting around the dinner table with everyone’s heads lost in their phones, the teenagers playing xbox, or the young kids sitting on the couch watching TV with their parents. Here are 5 tips to not only help your family spend quality time with one another, but also turn that time into something that will help make your family healthy and active.
- Turn commercials into a game. This one is something you’d have to start when your kids are young- I’m pretty sure if you started trying to dance with your teenager during commercials they would look at you like you had lost your mind. But, with young children, this can be a fantastic way to bond with your kids while keeping them active. And really, these activities can be anything; a quick game of hide and seek, tag, dancing around together, or if you have a dog you can make commercials “play with the puppy time” that way both your child and your pup are getting a bit of exercise! And the best thing? It incorporates activity into your favorite shows, so you don’t have to give up your screen time to get your family moving!
- Take a walk after dinner. Even if it is just around the block, taking a post-dinner walk can be a great way to bond with your family, while simultaneously torching some dinner calories and getting your metabolism moving. It is a great time to discuss your day, ask about how school went and what they learned, and otherwise have 20-30 minutes of uninterrupted time to spend together. As an added bonus, walking has fantastic health benefits!
- Start Geocaching! Geocaching is just awesome in general, but doing it with your family takes the adventure to a whole other level. If you are unfamiliar with geocaching, visit their website here, but for a quick overview it is basically a worldwide treasure hunt. Using a free app, you and your family can navigate to a geocache, search around until you find it, see what is inside and sign a log book indicating that your family found the treasure, and move on to the next! It is extremely likely that there are geocaches close to your home. It is a fantastic way to explore with your family, add an element of excitement and adventure to your family outing, find parks and areas you didn’t even know existed in your community, and get everyone moving. To make it even more exciting, your family can hide its own geocache, and after being approved, your cache will be available for everyone else to go find!
- Walk dogs at your local shelter. This is a fantastic way to get your family moving, and give back to your community at the same time. Shelters are always looking for volunteers to help get their charges exercise, and the shelter dogs love to meet new people and get out of their cages and outside to stretch their legs. And, most kids love animals, so it is an activity they would be excited for and look forward to every week. It can teach your children compassion, sympathy, and introduces the knowledge that there are people and things in the world less fortunate than themselves. Plus, it instills the idea of community service at a young age, something that may very well carry over into their adult lives.
- Get involved with charity walks. This one can be a bit expensive, but is something that could be done at least a few times a year. Charity walks are another great way to give back to your community while enjoying quality, active time with your family. If your kids are older, let them choose the charity walk they want to support. It allows them to feel good about supporting something they believe in, as well as making them explore charities and educate themselves about the issues facing our society. It is also a great way to get out into the community and connect with other people who share similar interests. Crossing the finish line can make your kids feel good about accomplishing something, and may even lead to them wanting to join the 5k or 10k races, and we all know how beneficial running can be!
There are a ton of ways to be active with your family, and many of them don’t take much time or money. So next time you are coming up blank for what to do, try one of our tips for getting the entire family moving!