For the past couple of months, we have been able to enjoy the nice, warm weather, cookouts, vacations, and even those occasional lazy days. While summer is not quite over, this time of year marks getting back to your everyday grind, preparing children to go back to school and hopefully including fitness in both of those plans. Why is it important to include fitness you ask? Well, it is no secret that obesity is on the rise in our country not only for adults, but children alike. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 17% (or about 12.5 million) of children and adolescence ages 2-19 are obese. If this scary statistic for children is anything like the obesity trend in adults, then we only know it will get worse. Why not set your children up for success this school year by not only getting them ready for their education but also their health and well-being! There have even been numerous studies that highlight the benefits of physical activity in regards to improved academics. If you want to read them for yourself, the website, SPARK, is a great resource. They are a research-based, public health organization dedicated to creating, implementing, and evaluating program that promote lifelong wellness for children and adolescents in schools. Of course, once the school year starts, time is a factor especially with making sure they get their homework and projects done. So when adding fitness to your routine why not incorporate time as a family as well to make it a fun time together. This also helps you to achieve the time you need to be active as well. If you find it difficult to incorporate this routine or even need some great ideas, keep reading!
- Either organization or chaos can come from the amount (or lack of) of proper planning and preparation. The best idea is the make a schedule of your family’s activities then plan your fitness time in just like you would do any other event. Remember, if you don’t plan time to do it, most likely it won’t get done! Even 10 minute increments will work.
- Your fitness doesn’t need to happen in a corporate fitness center or local gym to count. You can do a lot of activities with just your bodyweight or even get a quick cardio session in. Parks also provide some good places for fitness; some were even built for that reason. Working out at kids’ practices counts too; just as long as you are moving and not sitting in the bleachers.
- Pack your bag the night before, so you won’t rush in the morning and potentially exclude it out of your routine. It also serves as a great reminder to work out that day.
Lastly, with all of these activities going on for your family, still make sure to schedule “me” time. There’s nothing worse than getting burnt out on different activities. Schedule time to yourself and even time for the kids to relax. You will greatly appreciate it!