Physical Activity: Creating a Family Plan

family of four wearing helmets and riding bicycles together

If your physical activity is tough to schedule, why not make it a family affair? You’ll be setting lifelong examples for your children. And you’ll develop a healthy habit for yourself.

Path to improved wellness

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommends that all children participate in physical activity for 30 to 60 minutes each day. The AAFP encourages parents and schools to make it a priority. This might seem like common sense. However, many of today’s kids find entertainment in video games and television. This leads to inactivity. The AAFP discourages long periods of inactivity both at school and at home.

The AAFP supports the in-school nutrition and physical activity program Fuel Up to Play 60. The National Dairy Council, National Football League, and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) partnered to create this program to encourage today’s youth to lead healthier lives.

Families can participate in physical activities in a number of ways. It doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many activities family members of all ages can do together, from babies to grandparents. Some ideas include:

  • Walks. Your neighborhood is always a good choice for a walk. If you want something different, head to your local park on nice days. You can even spend time walking at the zoo, a college campus, or an indoor shopping mall. Remember, as a family, you could walk to school and walk the dog. Many communities have dog parks designed for walks with your pet. Purchase a pedometer (a device that tracks your steps) or fitness tracker to see how much activity you logged. There are also apps you can download on your phone to track your physical activity.
  • Join a gym, or design your own. Many community recreation centers offer affordable family memberships. These give you and your family access to fitness equipment, pools, and walking tracks. The YMCA is often the most affordable. If you cannot afford a…

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