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10 Ways to encourage an active family lifestyle

Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is challenging — especially when kids would rather watch TV or play video games. As parents, we need to instill positive lifestyle choices in our children at an early age, because these the building blocks for a lifelong focus on health. Here are 10 tips to help your family live a more active lifestyle, and have fun doing it.

Family walking dog

1Sign your kids up for a sports program.

The YMCA and local parks and recreation centers typically offer low-cost sports lessons and leagues that can motivate the whole family to get out and move. Find out about the benefits of team sports for grownups.

2Schedule a family fun night at the park.

The weather is beautiful, so get out and get moving! Bring a healthy dinner to eat after you are done. Check out these outdoor family activities for ideas.


Join a family-friendly gym.

Working out together promotes family bonding. Plus, you’re less apt to miss a workout if your kids are anxious to hit the gym, too.

4Walk the dog.

Instead of letting Fido run around the backyard alone, get out there and move with him. An evening or morning family walk is great for your body and gives your family a special time to share.

5Buy pedometers.

Buy pedometers for everyone in your family and have a weeklong contest to see who can get in the most steps. Have a goal of at least 10,000 steps per day. There’s nothing like friendly competition to get your family living a more active lifestyle!

Check out these walking tips to get your family movin’! >>

6Ride your bike.

Ride your bike to your family’s favorite restaurant. You won’t feel guilty ordering dessert if you know you’ll be burning it off on the way home.

6Organize a neighborhood field day.

Include activities you loved as a kid, such as tug-of-war, an obstacle course, the long jump and the two-legged race.

8Give back.

Dedicate some time to a non-profit group close to your heart, such as Habitat for Humanity. Visit to learn how the group is refreshing neighborhoods in April and May — and how you can get involved.

9Shake it up.

Flip on your iPod and have a dance contest. Don’t be surprised if the dance party rocks the house all night long.

10Register for a 5K

Register for a 5K or mini marathon in your community. Planning and training together will help your family reach the finish line.

There are lots of activities for your family to explore, but the ultimate goal is to get moving and incorporate healthy options into your day-to-day lives. For example, choosing to walk to the park or ride your bike regularly will not only burn calories, but also will help you live a long and happy life.

More ways to get your family fit

15 Ways to raise a healthy child
10 Ways to keep your family energized all day
5 Exercises kids love

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