Give thanks for the benefits of family exercise.
Exercising has countless physical and even psychological benefits, including improved heart health, enhanced fitness and conditioning, weight management, decreased stress, better sleep, reduced depression and anxiety and so much more. Those who do some sort of physical activity with their family however, notice even greater benefits. Here are just a few:
Role modeling healthy habitsAs the saying goes, “monkey see, monkey do.” We teach our children to eat, move, and speak as they transform from infants to toddlers, but the learning does not stop there. Children often mirror behaviors they see first hand. So exercising with the kiddos can teach them how to care for their physical and even mental health.Quality time for the whole familyWith life’s continuous battle of go here; go there; do this; do that; it is truly up to us to make time for the people that mean the most to us. Whether you play ball with the kids in the yard, go for a walk as a family or join an all-ages, all-levels fitness class, you are sure to get two birds with one stone.Opportunity for positive communication.Let’s face it, children and adults often have an invisible wall that hinders normal communication, much less communication that teaches and reinforces positive talk and action. Exercising together opens opportunity for encouragement, listening carefully, empathy, clarity respect and other positive communication skills. A little “good job” can go a long way!Giving entertainment on a budgetOne of the biggest challenges for regular exercise is finances. Sports fees, gym memberships and community activity expenses normally hinder the bank account (not to mention the cost of other forms of entertainment). Luckily, taking the family for a swim in a nearby lake, playing volleyball at the city park or going for a hike through the mountains does not usually cost anything more than time and energy. The bonus here is you can really create some family memories. To get started reaping the benefits of family workouts, give this one a try during the holidays!
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– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC
Health Advisor | Email Casey