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I’m sure I’m not the only parent who has dealt with teenagers who spend more time lying on their beds (or floors, or slouched on the couch) gaming and chatting to friends online. In addition to this phase of growing up, we have also found that as a family we are far less active after two and a half years of having many of our outings curtailed by pandemic restrictions.
I would love to hear what other families do to remain healthy and active. We all know how important exercise is for mental and physical health. How do you all get moving – especially if you are all at different levels of fitness?
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We have a trampoline and a punching bag at home aside from jump ropes and balls that my kids can use whenever they want to. But, just like me, my kids are not really into exercise and prefer to walk or stroll in the park or in our neighborhood. I guess I have to set an example because, during the pandemic, even the most athletic person in our house who is my son suddenly became a couch potato.
Although we walk around every once in a while, I am certain that this kind of activity is not enough for us. So, I vow to include physical activities in our daily routine which can help us be healthier and stronger.
We have some great hiking trails where we live and our kids (including the older teens) really enjoy getting out and doing a day trek. We have great conversations as we walk and it is such a fun day out for the whole family. We also love going for a family bike ride. All my kids play sports so that keeps them pretty active as well.
In our home, winters are usually quite active. It is in summers that physical activity gets compromised.
In winters, games that my kids usually enjoy playing are badminton and cricket. When they don’t have any company, both like to spend some time with their rackets. If we have their friends or cousins visiting us, they prefer cricket.
It sure is difficult to get them physically active when temperature is really high and this means most of the year in our country. Summer makes walking or jogging less attractive for kids. I have figured out that keeping them busy with me, in house cleaning gets them moving without even letting them know .
So, when nothing works, it’s quite easy to request them to help in deep cleaning the kitchen cabinets, cupboards and doing laundry.
Another thing that I have found effective is to take them to the mall for weekly groceries, before they realize they have completed their 5000 to 6000 steps.
Fitness watches are a great idea. I love that!
Hiking and biking are two wonderful family fitness activities. We have a great paved bike path near us we always see families of all ages together on. Mountain biking would also be really fun and maybe more engaging for adventurous teens. Many mountain biking areas have beginner trails or a pump park to get started.
I also think that kids of all ages love trampoline parks. It's a great workout and stress-reliever!
We have discovered Apple Fitness in our house! There are options for yoga, running etc. but we as a family, engage in the dancing sessions. If you can put the app up on a big screen, the whole family can engage in exercise dancing and its actually really fun. My daughter loves to dance and while myself and husband are not very good at it, we like to get up and join in. My husband also uses the yoga app with my daughter and they get on the floor with mats and do some stretches together in the lounge room. It might be an option to all get involved.