Archives for September 13, 2018

3 Ways to Stay Active with Your Family

I’m sure you’ve heard, we are currently living in the golden age of television. Never before have we had such a choice of mind-blowingly unmissable shows to watch. If it isn’t Game of Thrones or Making a Murderer it’s something else.

With all that temptation it can be very difficult to motivate yourself to get off the couch and go outside sometimes. Then when you do get outside you remember you have a smartphone and you can just stream all your favorite shows anyway. There’s no escape. Argh!

People the future is here, we’ve seen it and it’s really unhealthy. We have to fight against it with everything we have. Especially if you have children. At least we adults have memories of a time before technology’s omnipresent grip , our youngsters don’t.

As parents, you are at the vanguard of the resistance. It’s up to you to help your family stay fit and active when all the odds are stacked against you. But how I hear you cry? Well, don’t despair just yet below are three ways I found to be extremely effective.

Gamify your family’s exercise

You may have heard of the term gamification. It’s a technique adored by the boffins in Silicon Valley. In basic terms, it’s the process of turning something ordinary into a game.

For example, you may have on your phone a running app that awards you points for completing so many miles a week. You receive awards for going out every day. There may even be a leaderboard where you can see how well you’re doing against your friends or just randomers. That little app has turned a regular old exercise like going for a jog into a game.

I recommend using this same technique for your entire family. Draw up a leaderboard and stick it on the wall somewhere in the house, maybe the kitchen. Add all the family members and when anyone does some kind of healthy activity award points. Little Timmy cycled his bike for an hour after school, that’s 10 points. Jane went to cheerleader practice, 10 points. Dad drank a six pack of bud, minus 20 points.

Turn it into a fun activity, use the carrot approach much more than the stick. Set targets and at the end of the month total up everyone’s points, see who won and give them a prize. Top tip, make the prize something healthy that everyone can enjoy – like a camping trip.

Prioritize sleep

It may sound counterintuitive to suggest a good way to keep your family active is to get them to sleep more but bear with me and I’ll explain. Diet and exercise are often seen as the two pillars of good health, quite rightly, what is missing from that equation, however, is that good sleep is the foundation on which these two pillars stand and fall.

If your family doesn’t sleep well then it is highly unlikely they are going to be active. Think back to the last time you had a bad night’s rest – I’ll bet you won’t have to think for too long – now I reckon it was a struggle for you to just get out of bed let alone drag yourself to the gym.

If you improve how well your family sleeps you will see the desire and capacity for exercise surge. More activity will in turn lead to better sleep. A win-win if ever I’ve heard of one.

Knowing you should get better rest and actually being able to do so are two very different things. If you do find yourself struggling to improve your family’s slumber, head over to the www.sleepadvisor.org blog for a few handy hints and helpful tips.

Make exercise exciting

Trying to persuade your son or daughter to come for a run around the blog with you might be something of a fool’s errand. Firstly they know what the block looks like and secondly, they probably don’t want any of their friends to see you and them together. Remember, parents equal embarrassment.

You’ve got to think bigger. Kids love adventure, so why not give it to them. Take the family on hikes into the mountains. Go camping in a national park. Trick them into being active. The country is full of an unbelievable natural bounty, utilize it. Go swimming in rivers and kayaking in lakes.

I’ve found it much easier to get kids enthusiastic about such trip if you involve them at the planning stage, get maps out, get them to choose where you go (within reason of course). Allow them to be responsible for various aspects of the planning (within reason of course).

If you’ve taken my advice from above and turned your family’s exercise into a game then choosing the destination of the trip could be the perfect prize for the best performer.

Well, there you have my friends – three top tips on how to improve your families activity levels. Get better rest, turn everything into a game and make exercise more fun. A simple recipe for success really. Good luck!