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Make Fitness a Family Affair

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Make Fitness a Family Affair

Find activities that raise your heart rate for at least 60 minutes a day

Summer vacation is barely a week old, and already your kids are singing the “I’m bored” refrain. Our suggestion? Get the whole family moving!

Family physical fitness can help you (and your child) maintain a healthy weight and ward off serious illnesses, such as cancer and diabetes. And when your children see you working up a sweat, they’re more likely to be active and stay active as they grow older.

So slather on the sunscreen and follow these guidelines: Children younger than age six should get plenty of daily physical activity like running, jumping and skipping. Kids ages six to 17 should do some sort of physical activity that raises their heart rate for at least 60 minutes a day, five days a week.

Try these activities:

Get the ball rolling. Engage the entire family in a volleyball match, a game of Frisbee or flag football.

Have a neighborhood carwash. Washing several cars is a great way to boost your heart rate and work out major muscle groups. Want added incentive? Your kids can earn a little pocket change while getting in shape!

Plant a garden. Hoeing, weeding, watering and harvesting a garden is a great workout. And your children are more likely to eat vegetables they’ve nurtured and harvested.

Go swimming. More than a great all-over cardiovascular workout, swimming also can reduce blood pressure, boost good cholesterol levels and improve mood—all while helping you stay cool. Challenge your children to a race.

Plan active vacations. Think: hiking, cycling, kayaking or snorkeling. Your family will stay active on vacation and reduce stress levels.

Try different activities until you find something your family enjoys. The most important thing is getting everybody’s hearts beating faster for a sustained time.

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BHM Edit Staff