Walk the Walk with Family Trails

Next time you’re thinking about what to do on the weekend, consider taking the family out on the trails. Family trails in your local or state parks are an ideal way to get fit together and get some fresh air and nature while you’re at it.

Healthy Fitness for People at All Levels

Walking is a very effective way for people of all ages and all fitness levels to get healthy exercise, because it strengthens the heart and lungs and burns calories. In addition, walking is good for your bones, improves your circulation, can help tone muscles and increase your metabolism. Walking also improves the body’s cardiovascular system. In fact, many medical experts agree that regular walking is better for the body than running because it puts less stress on the body.

Trails are for Everyone

Family trails are suitable for people of all ages – from toddlers to grandparents. Many trails designated for family hikes are less strenuous, with fewer hills, and a smoother path cleared of rocks, roots or other obstacles. Some are even paved in boardwalk or have stairs or bridges that aren’t available on other trails. They may be stroller friendly and pet friendly as well. Check at the informational booth, kiosk or welcome center for maps and signposts to find family-friendly trails. You can find additional hiking information on sites like trails.com, Americanhiking.org, or backpacker.com.

Explore Nature

Family trails are a way for families to get out of the house and explore nature and learn about your area. Whether you’re walking through a colorful foliage tour or hiking through the crisp white snow, enjoying spring flowers, or seeking a bit of forest shade in the summer, trail walking can be done year round.

See Wildlife

Family trails are a great opportunity to witness area wildlife first hand. Whether you’re interested in bird watching, butterflies, deer or on a hunt for the infamous jack-a-lope, there are lots of opportunities to see wildlife once you’re on the trail. Be sure to check signs for potential dangerous animals and what to do in case you meet up with one. In some trails, you might be encouraged to bring a bear bell, pepper spray or walking sticks to deter critters.

Get Fit and Work Up to More Strenuous Trails

Once you and your family have gotten into the swing of trail walking, you can work your way up to more strenuous trails. Whether they involve a gradually steepening incline, longer walks, or more off-road oriented hikes, you’ll be rewarded with the ability to explore new territory and the opportunity to increase your fitness levels.

Take to the Roads

Do you feel like you’ve explored all of the trails and hikes and parks in your area? Consider branching out. Your local hikes can help you and your family work up to a trip to Mammoth Cave, Sedona, the Grand Canyon, the redwood forests of California, the Appalachian trail or volcano tours of Hawaii. Feel like going further? Consider the centuries old pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago from the Pyrenees of France across northern Spain and ending in Santiago de Compostela. Your family will have a trip to remember and if they make the whole trek, they’ll receive a special certificate at the end of the line.

Whether you’re trekking through the woods of your backyard or across the Appalachian trail, a family walk will do your family good. It’s good exercise, fresh air and time exposed to nature. Consider taking a family walk with your loved ones – you’ll have happy trails together.

 

5 Simple Ways Procrastinators Can Improve Their Fitness Levels

Photo credit: Gary Bembridge CC BY 2.0

Staying active is the key to being healthy and living a long life, but being fit takes time and motivation. The single greatest challenge to staying fit and healthy is finding ways to stay motivated to counter your procrastination.

If you struggle with motivation, then a great place to start is to write down your goal, identify your compelling reason WHY you want it, and then reconnect with your compelling reason as often as it takes to keep you motivated and reaching your goals.

We all suffer from procrastination on some level, but there are some action steps you can take today to help you move forward and on the road to better health and fitness.

Fitness

Being physically active can produce long term health benefits. Staying active can help you have stronger muscles and bones, improve mood, boost energy, control weight, manage blood pressure, and stave off cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. Also, when we workout, our body releases a cascade of hormones and chemicals that signal our cells to grow stronger.

The health benefits of a good workout are endless, so what’s stopping you from working out?

Procrastination

Procrastination is the art of putting off tasks you should be doing and replacing them with activities you would rather be doing. The most common reason that people don’t workout is because of procrastination.

“I will do it later” is the hallmark reply. Life is full of distractions and if you let life distract you, then it will.

The best way not to get distracted is to never put off until tomorrow what you can do right now. Here are a few tips to help you on your way to being fit today.

5 Simple Tips

Tip #1: Just do it!

Simple, but effective. The easiest way to do something is just to do it. When you think about doing something, the mind can come up with all kinds of reasons and excuses why you shouldn’t.

Improving your fitness levels is as easy as just getting up and moving around. Once you start to move around, you will start to build up momentum and energy, which will help to motivate you to workout for the long term. The best thing is to go into autopilot mode and just go workout!

Tip #2: Make it fun!

Anything we make hard we eventually stop doing. The trick to keeping active and fit is to have fun with it.

Find an activity you enjoy. With all the different options we have in fitness today, there is absolutely something for everyone. Try dancing to some music, jumping on a trampoline, swimming or simply go for a nature walk with your dog.

Find a physical activity that you enjoy and allow yourself to have fun doing it, that’s all there is to it.

Tip #3: Breathe more!

Most people that procrastinate say that they lack the energy to motivate themselves. Oxygen is a catalyst for creating energy. The more oxygen we have in our blood stream, the more energy we have at the same time.

So, try this… relax and breathe normally, and then slowly start to increase your breathing rate. This technique is called the breath of fire, which is a rhythmic breath with equal emphasis on the inhale and exhale to get your blood moving and give you extra energy for working out.

Tip #4: Find a workout partner!

Staying fit and motivated can be greatly helped by having someone to workout with. A workout partner can make your exercise routine more fun, enjoyable and effective.

The key to picking a good partner is to find someone that is not a procrastinator and someone that works out regularly; they can motivate you to do the same.

Having a friend to workout with is also helpful in keeping you accountable, because it’s much more difficult to skip a workout when someone is waiting for you.

Tip #5: Join a class!

An exercise class is an ideal way to motivate yourself to workout and stay fit. In a class setting you will find like-minded people that are there for one reason…to workout! And meeting these people and interacting with them outside of class can help keep you motivated.

There is no better place to stay motivated and to get fit than a gym or workout class. The right setting can do wonders for procrastination.

Bottom Line

Overthinking workouts is where trouble begins. These tips are simple, but effective. They can help anyone who wants to motivate themselves to be fit and definitely much healthier.

Take the first step and begin to create a consistent exercise routine today! A regular exercise routine is the key to improving your fitness levels and decreasing your procrastination habits at the same time.

Remember, just do it!

 

The Importance of Physical Fitness as a Pre-Teen

Photo credit: Man vyi (own photo) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Does your pre-teen seem more interested these days in watching movies or playing video games than engaging in fun fitness activities? If so, you’re not alone. The struggle is real for many families. In fact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov), roughly 62% of children between the ages of 9 and 13 do not engage in organized sports outside of school and 23% do not engage in any physical activity during their free time. The importance of physical fitness as a pre-teen cannot be understated. The key is to form healthy habits early on and find more creative ways to motivate this age group to move more and actually enjoy it. Some of the health benefits of regular physical activity include stronger muscles and bones, weight control, better sleep, less stress, more energy, and the ability to think more clearly. All the more reason to get the whole family moving!

Exercise Is No Longer a Priority

Today’s middle-aged adults may find themselves fighting a stubborn middle-age spread. Former high school track stars have evolved into busy parents who juggle careers and families and it’s hard to keep up the fitness levels we once had. When we were young, however, many of us were more active. We rode bikes to our friends’ houses and spent hours running around and playing outside. If we wanted to watch a movie, we had to actually get up and go to a theater or make a trip to the video rental store. If we wanted to play video games, many of us went to an arcade – often traveling by bike to get there.

Compare that to today’s kids, who have everything they need for hours of entertainment conveniently located in their family computer or smartphone. Even buying things can be done with the click of a mouse. As a result, today’s kids are inherently more sedentary than past generations. The exercise we got naturally – through bike rides to our friends’ houses and playing outside – are not a necessary part of their daily life. Exercise has to be planned, squeezed in. It’s an additional activity, not a natural part of the process.

Instill Healthy Habits

Establishing fitness habits at an early age can lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy habits. A pre-teen is still malleable. The habits you instill now as a parent are habits that will continue with your child for a lifetime. Be a role model yourself by eating a balanced diet and exercising daily. Remember, your actions speak louder than words. Make time to be active as a family, too – go for a bike ride or a family hike. Buy gifts for your kids that will get them moving, such as a skateboard, a basketball, or a jump rope. Also, encourage your pre-teen to get involved in vigorous activities like running, swimming or playing sports like volleyball, tennis or soccer. Most importantly, limit the amount of time that your pre-teen spends playing computer games and watching TV to no more than an hour or two a day.

Psychological Benefits of Exercise

Pre-teens are in the awkward years. Exercise can help boost confidence, release endorphins, alleviate tension, and reduce that antsy pent-up energy kids get at this age. Physical activity also enhances thinking skills and brain function by increasing oxygen and blood flow to the brain. Furthermore, studies have shown that when pre-teens participate in organized sports and other fitness activities, they develop greater self-esteem and a more positive self-image than pre-teens who weren’t physically active.

 

Top 4 Health Benefits of Mud Runs and Obstacle Courses

My first obstacle mud run, the Makahiki Challenge.

If you enjoy taking on new challenges and pushing your mental and physical capabilities to the next level, then you have to try an obstacle course or a mud run at least one time! Your stamina, agility and heart will be put to the test, as these obstacle mud runs are far from ordinary. While you’re having a blast splashing in A LOT of mud, you will also have many hurdles to overcome like climbing over slippery walls, hauling sand bags, crawling through barriers, pulling heavy tires, and swinging from ropes. Some of the most popular mud runs and obstacle courses are the Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash, Spartan Race, and the Makahiki Challenge in Hawaii. You can participate in these obstacle challenges alone, with family or friends, or with a team. Just be ready to step out of your comfort zone and muttle through lots of filthy fun obstacles.

Here are some of the top health benefits of running in obstacle courses:

Shape up or ship out! If you’re up for the challenge, these obstacle mud runs will get you in the best shape of your life. You’ll improve your strength, endurance, balance, flexibility and burn a ton of calories! Running on different terrain, lifting, pulling, climbing, crawling, jumping, and swinging through obstacles will definitely improve your overall fitness, and exercise will never be boring again! The key is to never give up and keep challenging yourself. When you’re ready, take it to the next level. Staying fit mentally and physically will impact your life in so many positive ways, plus you’ll have loads of fun along the way.

Get stronger, faster, and go longer. Climbing 12 ft. walls, carrying heavy objects, crawling under barb wires, traversing muddy waters, and holding onto ropes will absolutely test your physical limits, especially your strength and endurance abilities. The more obstacle races you do, the better you’ll get. As you get stronger, you’ll be able to go faster and farther than the previous race. Before you know it, you’ll be an avid obstacle course racer and reaching a level of fitness you never thought was possible.

Better balance and coordination.  Whether you’re scaling up and over walls or trying not to sprain an ankle while carrying a heavy object in the slippery mud, you will find yourself constantly struggling to maintain balance and coordination. Your entire body, including your brain, muscles, and senses are working overtime to make sure you stay on your feet.

Make things happen! When you cross the finish line, it will give you a great sense of accomplishment and inspire you to become a better athlete. Overcoming difficult physical and mental challenges will also give you the confidence to tackle anything that comes your way. You can  participate in training programs for obstacle runs to get you physically and mentally prepared for the next race.  So, challenge yourself to continually improve your overall health and fitness, but don’t forget to have FUN.

 

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Marathon Training

Image: Robin Reichert

A marathon constitutes a long distance running event, which covers an average distance of 26 miles and 385 yards on an open road. Marathons have become an extremely popular form of sport for racing as well as fundraising or raising awareness for important issues. Some of the most well-known marathons include the Jungfrau Marathon, NYC Marathon, Patagonian International Marathon, Boston Marathon, and Niagara Falls International Marathon.

Many people look forward to participating in their first marathon, but there is a lot of training required to become a marathon runner. Lack of proper training can cause cardiac arrests, injuries, and other serious health problems during a marathon race. Marathon training has to be a dedicated routine, but where does a person begin? Read on to learn how to start training for a marathon.

Beginner’s Tips

Before you jump into a serious and intense routine, start with some small steps to increase your endurance. It is wise to begin your training routine at least one year before you plan to participate in the marathon.

  1. Start training at least five to six months before a marathon, if you are already a regular runner. If not, it may take at least two or three years before one can get marathon ready.
  2. Consult a physician to know if you are capable enough to run the long marathon distance. Most importantly, if you are fit enough to sustain the rigorous marathon training.
  3. Make sure to get advice from a professional while training for marathons. Do not train against expert advice.
  4. Increase your daily running miles on a regular basis. Hal Higdon (halhigdon.com) gives great advice on how to train safely for a marathon, whether it’s your 1st or 15th marathon, and Hal Higdon’s training programs are top-notch as well. The key is to take it slow, train smart and listen to your body. If you feel uncomfortable, stop increasing distance until you feel ready to move forward. Consult your trainer and then take necessary steps.
  5. Make sure you eat well and eat healthy as per the instructions of your doctor and trainer.

The Difference between Marathon Training and Normal Workouts

Marathon training is different from a regular running routine. The body needs to be prepared well in advance to make sure the final marathon run can happen without any mishaps. It is your responsibility to get your body used to running long distances over a period of time. Marathon running is a matter of patience, dedication and training combined together. Listening to your doctors and trainers is of utmost priority while training for a marathon. Training will also help you figure out your weaknesses and allow you to work on them.

Nothing is too difficult if one puts their mind to it, and marathon running is no exception. But, of course, the proper procedure of training must be followed for best results. Also, if one is advised against marathon running, he or she should not be disheartened but ask for ways to remedy the problem and patiently do so. The key is to have patience and enjoy the journey along the way.

On a personal note…I ran my first full marathon, at age 44, in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2014 and it was a life-changing experience that I will never forget. Running your first marathon will make you realize that you CAN accomplish anything you set your mind to, but it takes hard work, dedication, perseverance, and facing your fears.

 

Get a Simple and Effective Workout by Power Walking

Photo credit: National Cancer Institute [Public domain]

Power walking is a simple form of exercise that has multiple health benefits. It is perhaps one of the most underrated, simple, and effective forms of cardiovascular activity which is suitable for all age groups, and can facilitate calorie burning of up to 300 calories per hour at a walking speed of two miles per hour. Walking everyday has its own benefits, however, inculcating the element of power walking will add that much needed calorie burn to the cardiovascular system and will ensure that you get the maximum health benefits from your otherwise casual stroll around the park.

Walking is a Cost-Free Exercise with Many Benefits

If you are one of those people who would like to incorporate some extra activity into your day, but are not particularly fond of gym machines or cannot afford a membership to the gym, walking everyday will enable you to reap the benefits of fresh air and activity, while helping you burn fat. Power walking involves brisk walking while moving your arms as you walk. It serves to work more muscles in the body as compared with regular walking since you are using your arms and legs together. More calories are burned as a result, and you will also notice an improvement in your overall muscle tone, primarily in the leg and glutes region. Your arms will feel noticeably stronger, and those who opt to amplify their walking experience with dumbbells and ankle weights will notice more pronounced definition.

Primary Benefits of This Simple Exercise

Power walking can be as basic or as intense as you would like; you could simply wear comfortable walking attire and sturdy walking shoes and head to the nearest park. Or you could, as mentioned, strap on a pair of ankle weights, wrist weights, and add a pedometer to measure your steps in order to follow specific walking goals. Make things fun and add a boost of motivation by forming a walking group with other people in your area who want to get into walking, too.

Technology Enables You to Turn Your Walks into a Community Activity

Thanks to the internet and various mobile and social media applications, you can now walk alongside the millions of other people around the world who are taking to this simple and fun activity; trackers help you monitor your activity, and keep track of your heart rate or the calories you burn, while community applications help you compete with and motivate other walkers to incorporate this healthy activity into their daily lives.

Taking advantage of daily walking is about making a simple lifestyle change with many benefits. It is one of the simplest fitness methods available since it does not require equipment or training requirements of any kind. You can power walk your way to a healthier lifestyle anywhere, and at any time.

 

10 Ways to Achieve Fitness Success

Exercise and Nutrition for the VegetarianHow many of you struggle to stay consistent with a workout program? Do you tend to throw in the towel within the first 3 months? Well, you’re not alone by any means. Unfortunately, what many people don’t realize is that had they stuck it out a little longer, they would have succeeded. Make exercise a lifelong habit, and choose activities that you enjoy doing. If exercise becomes a chore, then you will lose interest and give up.

Incorporating positive lifestyle changes will require time and patience. There is no quick fix. If you make exercise and eating right a habit, then usually by the 3rd or 4th month you will start to see some light at the end of the tunnel. So, don’t give up! Stick with it, and you will see results!

Here are 10 simple ways to achieve fitness success.

  • Get up and move! Make a decision to engage in a variety of physical activities on a consistent basis that will develop cardiovascular capacity, strength, balance, and flexibility.
  • Rev the engine. Participate in physical activities that involve the large muscle groups of the body, such as biking, swimming, running, skiing and jumping rope, just to name a few.
  • Get stronger. Resistance training is a must for toning, strengthening, and sculpting the body. This is especially important for those trying to lose weight. The more lean muscle you have, the higher your metabolism. You will burn more calories, even when you’re not working out! You should do strength training exercises at least 2 non-consecutive days a week, and a minimum of 20 minutes per session.
  • Get flexible. Always stretch before, during, and after exercise to help improve physical performance, increase joint range of motion, and prevent injury. Remember to move your muscles through their full range of motion on a regular basis.
  • Win the losing game. Strive to keep your weight at an appropriate level. If you need to lose weight, a general rule to follow is to eat less and exercise more (both in moderation).
  • You are what you eat. Make a goal to eat healthy at least 75 to 80 percent of the time. You can easily out-eat any exercise program, so choose quality over quantity. Stick to whole foods whenever possible, and greatly reduce your consumption of processed foods. Sugar is one of the biggest no-no’s, and it’s a major metabolic disruptor. So, begin by staying away from sugar and you’ll make a huge dent in your weight loss efforts and dramatically improve your overall health.
  • Go easy. Try to keep matters of your life in proper perspective. Know what factors you can and cannot control in your life. Don’t stress out over those things beyond your control. See change as an opportunity, not a threat.
  • Get your Zzzz’s on. Most people need at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep to feel refreshed, alert and in relative good spirits the next day. Sleep helps to rest and restore your body both physically and mentally.
  • Focus on the task at hand. Make time to exercise on a regular basis. Consistency gets results. Focus on the muscles that you are training. Don’t just go through the motions. When you get discouraged, remember your “why” for choosing to live a healthier lifestyle. Are you doing it for your kids? To live a better quality of life? To live long enough to see your grandkids?
  • Persistence and hard work pays off. Commit to sound lifestyle choices and you will achieve your health goals. For example, I will quit smoking or stop eating fast foods. Maintain an appropriate level of body fat. Avoid the latest fitness and diet fads, magic potions and exercise gadgets that seem too good to be true (they always are).

Are you ready to achieve fitness success? If yes, then click on the banner below.

 

Hiking and Biking: Get Out and Get Some Fresh Air

Photo credit: Robin Reichert

In this fast paced life, we don’t often stop to smell the roses or pause to reflect on how beautiful this world really is.  There are many benefits to getting outside, breathing in some fresh air, and taking in the nature around us. This is especially true for busy families who barely have time to eat dinner together.

Two activities that can pull a family together and get them moving are hiking and biking. Not only will you get some great exercise, but also you will be able to connect with your family again and strengthen those relationships. Not only that, but both hiking and biking have some fantastic benefits.

Great cardio – We all know how important it is to incorporate exercise into a daily/weekly routine, but this is sometimes hard to stick to, especially for busy families.  However, both hiking and biking are wonderful ways to get that important workout without having to visit a gym every night. Both are wonderful for your cardiovascular system. Your blood gets pumping and all those unused muscles are put to work helping to build strength and muscle tone.

Low/No Cost – Hiking and biking have a huge advantage over many other workouts. They are both totally free to enjoy whenever you choose. Of course, you will need bicycles and possibly some good hiking boots, but other than that you are free and clear to enjoy these activities without worrying about them impacting your bank account.

Stress reduction – It has been proven that outdoor activities, fresh air, and sunshine can help reduce stress or worry in your life.  Getting outside with your family and connecting with them in a different way can do a world of good on any worrisome issues that are plaguing you. Without the weight of the world pushing down on your shoulders, it will be easier to enjoy your family time together, laughing and bonding in a way you wouldn’t otherwise.

Variety – Both of these activities provide variety in your workout. When you hit the gym, it can often become monotonous and boring to stare at a television screen while on the treadmill or stationary bike. When you get outdoors and take a bike ride or hike one of the trails, you get to take in different scenery every time you go. Keep each member of the family involved and give everyone a chance to pick where they want to go one of the times you are out and about.

There are benefits to just about any outdoor activity you choose. Hiking and biking are wonderful simply because they allow you and your family to get back to the basics and take in all the wonders nature has to offer. It’s a great way to connect with your family and take in some beautiful scenery at the same time. The fresh air, cool breeze, and quiet calm can make you see things from a different perspective and enjoy your family time and what really matters in life.

 

Enjoy Exercising with 4 Simple Changes

Photo credit: RadioKAOS [CC-BY-SA 3.0]

If you are like the majority of people, the mere thought of exercising is enough to have your mind make up all kinds of reasons why you should not, could not, and perhaps will not exercise. However, once you begin to exercise on a regular basis, you will be amazed at how exercise can transform the way you look, feel and think. The key is to make exercise fun and something that you look forward to doing.

Here are a few ideas to help you create a fitness routine that is interesting and enjoyable, so you can make it a lasting part of your life.

 

Find a Workout Partner

Often times we may view exercise regimens as solitary confinement – like a sentence we have to endure all on our own. Guaranteed you have a pal or co-worker who feels exactly the same way. The old adage that misery loves company would apply in this situation. However, once you get together with a friend to exercise and actually go to the gym or take that power walk or a Zumba class, you will begin to see how much fun it really is and begin to enjoy exercising.

Change Your Perception of Exercise

Only you have the ability to change how you perceive something. Only when you have associated positive thoughts and feelings with exercise will you begin to override the negative connotations with exercising. You will find that excuses, such as being tired or not having enough time, will be outweighed by feelings of accomplishment, such as recognition that you burned 500 calories that night or even the simple fact that you feel energized and were glad you went.

Focus on the positive results and feelings you get the first time you go to exercise and bring that feeling back up to the forefront of your mind the next time you are heading out to exercise.

Spice It Up!

Be creative with your exercise routines and regimens. You do not have to think about gigantic machinery that you are unfamiliar with or a gym full of strangers. Find something you love to do and incorporate that into exercise. For some, that is walking briskly and for others it is dancing your heart out. Dance is not only a creative outlet, it is also one that will burn hundreds of calories. Even if you are not a professional dancer, taking a swing class or a jazz class is only the beginning to discovering one of the secrets to enjoying exercise.

Make It a Date

If you leave exercising to a chance date or time, you will more than likely set yourself up for failure. Make a specific date and time for exercise, whether you go out to the gym or do it at home. Write in on your calendar, put it on your to do list and commit to it. After you are done, you will be glad you did.

 

3 Fitness Tips for Getting Your Kids Off the Couch

Photo credit: Vastateparksstaff (Family bike ride Uploaded by AlbertHerring) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Our world today revolves around the latest technology in the form of smartphones, tablets, and video game systems. Big name companies compete to bring us the latest and greatest technology and it not only has an affect on adults, but children as well.

Children today are growing up in a completely different world than it was 20 years ago. There are first graders with cell phones, teens who would rather text than talk, and video games with such lifelike graphics it’s scary. The lure of these video games is especially strong in children and teens and brings with it the problem of little or no outside activity in this age group. As parents, it’s important to know how to get your children involved in something other than staring at a TV screen or holding a game controller all day long.

Be the example – Parents can set an excellent example for their children if they are active in their daily routine. If your child sees you exercising or spending more time outside than in front of the television, they will most likely follow your example as they grow older. It may take a little bit of nudging to get them to put the cell phone down, but it will happen. Likewise, if you are a couch potato, or have your nose stuck in the computer all day, they will be more apt to follow in your footsteps. Be the person that you would want your child to be. If you keep that in mind, it won’t be hard to set good habits in motion for the whole family.

Create a routine – A daily routine can help your child get rid of bad habits and instill some discipline in the whole family. Talk to your child about getting on a schedule and let them be involved in creating a routine that works for all of you. Limit the amount of time your child is in front of the television, on the Internet, or on his/her cell phone and stick to it. Make a trip to the park or a walk outside part of your daily routine. If it’s too cold outside, play a game of tag or hide and seek just to get yourself and your child moving. Small daily steps can help to break some bad habits and lead you into a new way of life.

Find activities your child will enjoy – This can be anything from organized sports at school to a daily trip to the local gym. Talk to your child about getting involved in school activities that will keep them moving. If he/she isn’t much of a sports fanatic, there are a ton of other ways to keep them active. Going on a family hike, swimming, or simply blasting some music and dancing around the living room are some fun ways to keep in shape and have fun while doing it.

It may take some time to establish a routine that works for you and your family, but don’t give up. Make small changes on a daily basis to get your child used to any form of daily activity. Pretty soon, a trip to the park or playing ball outside will be the new normal instead of coming home to play video games or surf the Internet. Making small daily changes not only forms better habits in your child, but in your whole family.