Fitness For The Busy Family

Who has time for an hour long exercise session these days? With the demands of a career, children, after-school activities, volunteer positions, housework, errand running, and preparing meals, it’s no wonder we slack off when it comes to our health and most importantly, exercising.

And yet, without proper exercise we get fat, our arteries get bogged down with bad cholesterol, our sugar levels can’t regulate themselves properly, and a multitude of other health problems wait patiently to take over our bodies.

Why is it so easy to forgo our health for the busyness of life? And where does one find the time, let alone the motivation, to get in shape?

Those are two questions I’ve been asking myself a lot the past few weeks—ever since I was told that my life is just too sedentary and because of it, my body is not only out of shape but in dire need of a little health boost! Of course my first reaction was to ask for a magic pill or a lazy man’s exercise equipment. But then reality hit and I knew no such thing existed—no matter what the infomercials try to tell us.

The key to getting healthier isn’t just about exercise and eating right, or even taking medications prescribed by a qualified health physician. No, getting healthier is about changing the way we think. It’s about looking within and discovering the real reasons behind our lack of enthusiasm when it comes to taking care of ourselves, it’s about understanding why we always put ourselves on the back burner, and then making conscious choices to make ourselves a priority.

For me, I forgo individual exercise because I wanted more time with the family—and because it’s boring! So to spice things up, I decided to make it a family affair. While there are certain activities I still do alone, like Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred exercise video or Richard Simmons’ Sweatin’ To The Oldies DVD, there are a lot of ways I include the kids, and most of the time they don’t even know they’re exercising!

Here are some great ways to make fitness a part of your family’s busy schedule:

1.       Need to get from one destination to another? Is it safe to race? Then race the kids.

2.       Need to run a few errands around town? Ask the kids to go on a bike ride with you.

3.       Is school close by? Wake the kids up early, get them dressed, hand them a breakfast burrito, and walk them to school. It’s a great way to find out what’s going on in their heads while getting in a little exercise.

4.       Need to return those books to the library or those videos to the video store? Slap on a pair of skates, fill the backpack up, grab the kids, and go.

5.       Kids fighting too much? Send them to the punching bag for ten minutes.

6.       Kids complaining of summer boredom? Start a garden. 30 minutes a day is all it takes to keep the weeds away, water, and cultivate.

Other ways to stay active are to:

7.       Park in the back of the parking lot instead of looking for a spot near the main entrance.

8.       Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.

9.       Pick up a sport the family can do together, like tennis, croquet, bocce, golf.

10.   Join the YMCA and get involved in their many team activities or start a family program at your local church.

11.   Play a ten minute game of tag.  There are various forms such as laser tag and freeze tag.  And on hot days, you can turn on the water sprinklers and play tag in the water.

Exercising is more about moving the body than how many minutes (or hours) at a time one performs a certain routine. So if time is your excuseArticle Submission, get over it fast. All you need is ten minutes here and twenty minutes there.

News Reporter

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