Growing up, activity was second nature to me. I’d wake up, go outside and play until the sun went down and repeat the next day. I was involved in some organized sports, but for the most part, unless it was pouring rain there was an expectation on me to be active.
The level of inactivity in today’s general population, especially children is alarming. I live on a street full of children and I can count on one hand the amount of times I have seen them actually playing outside. While this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not involved in organized activity outside of the home, it still concerns me. Unless it is pouring rain, I make sure my daughter gets outside and explores everyday. I want activity to be ingrained in her little brain.
A friend of mine recently started complaining about how her overweight son (who is 11) was never going to lose weight because she couldn’t afford to enroll him in an organized sport. Overweight herself, she claims to be determined to not have him lead the life she has as an overweight adult. When I told her I thought ”not being able to afford organized sport” was a poor excuse, she was taken aback. And don’t even get me started on a junk food tax.
Though organized sports and activity hold many benefits in many aspects, they are not the only ways to get active and fit.
Free or Inexpensive Activities for Families
Families who are active together are generally much happier as a whole and individual parts. I can tell you I always feel much better mentally and physically when my whole family gets out together rather than being alone or even me and the little one. Having my husband present is encouraging and fun. Activity is an amazing bonding time for everyone.
Some free or inexpensive activity ideas for the whole family include:
- Walking or hiking, exploring your neighborhood or local parks,
- Playing in the snow, snowshoes, skiing, building snowmen are always fun.
- Family sport game (baseball, tennis, soccer)
- Play on the beach, running in the sand, building sand castles.
- Walk the family dog together
- Rake leaves, clean the yard, garden together (for more fun jump in the leave piles!)
- Play electronic games. Electronic games (Wii, xBox, Playstation) can be fun when played as a family, there are many games that encourage activity.
- Run, there are many family friendly races that you could train and run together.
When activity is a component of your life, you feel better in all aspects of your life. You have more focus and are generally more organized and in a better mood. Nothing bad ever comes from being active together. Being active as a family means you are setting your children up for a healthier life than leading an inactive childhood. When children see their parents active they are also more apt to partake in activity.
Being fit a fit family doesn’t have to include fancy gym memberships or organized sports. There’s nothing stopping you from exploring the world around you and having fun while doing it!
Do you consider yourself to be active? How about your family?