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Tips to get healthy and fit with your family

Sarah Wassner Flynn is a New York City-based writer. She's contributed to magazines such as CosmoGIRL!, National Geographic Kids, Runner's World, Women's Health, Prevention and MetroSports New York. She is also the author of The Book of ...

Family fitness

How fit is your family? That's what the American Academy of Family Physicians wants to know, and they've even marked October as Family Health Month, urging everyone to take a closer look at their families' eating habits, physical fitness, stress and mental health. So in honor of this campaign, here are some ways to make focusing on fitness and health fun for your whole family!

Family Walking Outdoors

Ways to get fit with your family

Studies show that just 30 minutes of exercise a day may help you live five years longer, so make it your mission to work in some fun family workouts to your daily routine.

Start off with something as simple as an post-supper stroll or a group bike ride in your neighborhood. And as the colder months set in, hit up an indoor pool for laps (or mommy-and-me lessons for the tiny ones), or take the kids ice skating or skiing.

You'll all get in a great workout, build up your muscles, and have fun bonding while you're at it. (Click for more ways to get fit with your kids.)

Make it a group effort

Whether it's cutting back on cookies or tuning in to less TV, giving up your vices is easier when you take a group approach. Select one health-related area that you can improve upon as a family and work together to do just that.

Do you tend to grab fast food over healthy meals just to save time? Then pick one night a week to create a nutritious dinner at home together. To make it more fun, let the kids pick out the menu and help you with the preparation. With their assistance, you'll get it done quicker. Plus, they'll be so excited about their contribution to the dinner creation, they'll gobble down even the healthiest stuff.

Have some family fun

Your family's mental health is just as important as your physical fitness. You can keep your mental health in check by taking the time to hang out as a family and have a good time together. Hanging out together will also help you detect if someone in the family is silently struggling with some issues.

Turn off the TV, sit down over dinner – or brunch on the weekends – and chat about what's going on in everyone's worlds. Share funny stories. Make plans for upcoming holidays or events. Or gather the gang for a night of your family's favorite video or board games. Pit parents against kids in Guitar Hero or Cranium and get ready to giggle the night away!

More family-friendly ways to stay fit


Healthy eating habits for kids
Tips to fit in fitness
Easy ways to make family time 
Make exercise a fun family affair

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