Why do many families not exercise?

For a lot of families the answer is time. But did you know that incorporating just half an hour of activity in the day can leave everyone feeling more energised?

Fit parents

Finding time for exercise means that parents may have to do a bit of rescheduling and reshuffling.

Here are some ideas that may help you take that first step to getting active!

• Set the alarm 30 minutes earlier

Exercising first thing has many benefits. Taking a morning walk or run clears your mind, boosts your metabolism and lifts your mood. If you have a young family, take turns with your partner to exercise e.g one looks after the kids one morning, then another the next.

• Get organised

Be prepared. Pack lunches and layout clothing for your kids and yourself the night before to prevent a chaotic morning. Another motivator is to put your sneakers and workout gear next to your bed, so when you wake up you have no excuse!

• Exercise at lunchtime

Instead of eating at your desk or in the food-court, take the time to get active. Join a gym near your workplace and do a quick workout at lunch. Alternatively just put your sneakers on and go for a power walk. Recruit some colleagues and start a walking club.

• Walk/cycle to work

Time spent in traffic is wasted time. Leave the car at home; if you can walk all or part of the way to work. Get off the train or bus a few stops earlier, park your car further away from your workplace or find a safe cycle route.

Young children learn by example. They naturally want to do what you do. So being active yourself is the best way to get your kids into exercise. Show them that being fit is fun.

Fit kids

Kids need to be active, it’s crucial for healthy physical, mental and social development.

Including activity into family life is easy it doesn’t have to be a chore, it can be a lot of fun for kids and parents.

Try walking the kids to school a few days a week. It’s good for them and the environment.

Make family outings active don’t just go to the movies or fast food joints. Go for a walk, bike ride, roller blade, swim, or just throw a Frisbee around the park.

Buy activity inducing gifts. Tennis racquets, flippers, skateboards and skipping ropes all encourage kids to get active.

Limit the amount of time kids spend in front of the TV or computer. Research shows that the more time spent watching TV, the more likely a child will be obese. Send them outside to play instead.

Exercise safely

If you have a chronic illness or are new to exercise talk to your doctor before you commence a new exercise program. Always start out slowly to let your body warm up. Remember to wear comfortable clothing, supportive shoes and drink plenty of water.