Let's Get Moving!
Making physical activity part of your family's daily routine.
Turn off the T.V. and get on your feet!A major component of creating a healthy lifestyle is to include physical activity as a part of your daily routine, and to limit the amount of time spent engaged in sedentary activities. Here are some guidelines to consider:
No more than two hours of screen time: Screen time includes television, movies, video games and computer games as well as time spent texting and talking on the telephone. Children under 2 years of age should not have any screen time on a daily basis.
At least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity: Use a scale of 1-10 – where 1 is very easy, 5 is slightly difficult, and 10 is so difficult that a child is working so hard he or she cannot continue. The goal is to work consistently at a level of 5-7 for at least 20 minutes before taking breaks. The one hour of activity can be broken into two or three segments during the day.
- Start with small goals and build on them to help make lasting lifestyle changes. Here are some ways to start making positive changes in your family’s physical activity plans:
- Walk or ride your bike to and from school. If school is too far away, consider walking to a bus stop farther from home.
- Take family walks in the neighborhood or to a local park before or after dinner.
- Make yard work, gardening and household chores team efforts with the whole family.
- Take breaks from homework in the evening to choose an indoor or outdoor physical activity for 30 minutes.
- Instead of going to a movie, go on a bike ride, nature hike or to the zoo where your family can talk and interact with one another while being active.
- Strength – tug of war, bike riding, rowing
- Balance – martial arts, dance, skating
- Flexibility – yoga, gymnastics, simple stretches before and after other physical activities
- Cardiorespiratory endurance – swimming, soccer, jumping rope (the key with these activities is maintaining them for extended periods of time)
For young children:
- Create an obstacle course out of household items with your child. Work on going over, under, around and between objects; walk along a narrow object like a balance beam.
- Play fitness games like “follow the leader” using exercises and body movements that you make up (jumping jacks, hop scotch, etc… .) Have your kids take turns being the leader.
- Play London Bridge, Hokey Pokey or other songs and games with associated movements.
For older children and adolescents:
- Have a dance party contest. Have family members pick their favorite song and make up dances, practice your favorite type of dance, or learn a new dance.
- Play “indoor badminton” with balloons, shower puffs or rolled socks and see how long you can volley them around. Use one object per child or one for the whole group.
- Wheelbarrow walk around the house and over obstacles (forward, backward, sideways, over pillows and around obstacles).
- Create an obstacle course in an open area or empty garage. Skip through the course and dribble a basketball between obstacles.
- Play parachute games using a flat bed sheet as a parachute and shake the sheet vigorously with some rolled socks in the center. See how long you can keep the socks in the parachute.
- Jump rope in a covered area or the garage. Try jumping to music to help set the pace.
- Have a hoola hoop contest and practice your hoola hoop skills.
- Play “Dance Dance Revolution” or other step pad games that require standing and frequent, constant motion – a great way to stay active indoors.