By Ciara Lucas
It’s no secret that movement makes a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle. But the sooner physical activity is introduced, the better and bigger benefits there can be in the long run. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the health benefits of physical activity for children include improved academic performance, brain health, bone strength, and overall long-term health. Being active as a family is one way to encourage movement as a lifestyle and set the example to make it a part of their everyday routine. Here are ways to get the most out of your activity as a family.
Start the day with movement
Set the tone for the day with some kind of physical activity. Walk the dog as a family, practice morning yoga, stretch, take a walk around the neighborhood, or walk to school/work together. Starting your day with exercise ensures that it gets done every day and starts the day on a high note. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion suggests that kids get 60 minutes of physical activity daily. And it doesn’t need to be done all at once. Consider how you can squeeze it in during different parts of the day.
Phone screens, iPads, TVs — there’s a lot of digital competition to keep people on the couch rather than moving their bodies. Set an intention to stay present during activities to ensure you get the most out of it. Try setting a “no screens” rule and leaving devices at home while you spend time doing an activity as a family.
Set a family goal
Make movement a family mission by setting a weekly or monthly goal together. Keep track of your movement minutes and help each other stay accountable. The American Heart Association suggests prioritizing movement before other activities like chores or homework. And a little competition never hurt anyone, right? Try making it a family competition and see who can consistently reach their goal.
Change your environment
Prevent boredom and burnout with new activities you can try as a family. And there are easy ways to do it without going far. Try a new walking route or check out a local community center. Plan a neighborhood scavenger hunt or explore a new park. Changing your environment will keep you and your family members engaged and excited about physical activity. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone!
Give back together
Exercise isn’t the only form of movement that counts as physical activity. Get involved in your local community and volunteer for a community event or organization. Find a cause that your family cares about and find ways to contribute to it together. You can do something good for others while spending time together and working towards your movement goals.
About the Author:
Ciara Lucas is a journalist, on-air talent, media professional, and fitness/wellness coach. Her multifaceted career brings a unique perspective and expertise to the Vionic Innovation Lab team.
Ciara’s professional career has encompassed contributing to local and national newsrooms including NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, NBC Sports for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, and NBC News coverage of the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march. When she’s not on screen, she’s building connections strengthened through sweat as a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, helping clients find their meaning of sustainable health and happiness.
Ciara has created a personal brand and platform titled “Fit For A Queen” where she aims to empower, motivate, and inspire women from all walks of life to nurture their health and live their best lives by treating their bodies well. She is also an active member of the nonprofit Girls on the Run where she serves as a run coach for elementary school girls.