We all know that being active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but kids in today’s society are spending hours in front of screens, living a more sedentary lifestyle, and may not be getting enough exercise.
What is the solution, you ask? Family activity.
At Peerfit, it is our mission to redefine wellness, inside and outside of our families. With kids, this doesn’t necessarily look like the typical everyday wellness activities that adults participate in, like going to yoga, CrossFit or even the gym.
We believe it should be a priority to lead by example by exercising, eating right and finding ways to reinforce a love of physical fitness at home. Here are six reasons to make fitness a family affair.
Healthy Parents Healthy Kids
Creating an environment of health and wellness leads to healthy bodies, minds and experiences. We teach our kids about healthy vs. unhealthy choices already, why not create an environment that allows them to explore different activities and foods? As parents, we need to lead by example in the choices we make with food, and we can get our kids involved by making healthy eating a habit at home. Combining regular physical activity with a healthy diet is the key.
Adventure and Exploration
Strive to find adventure every day, like finding a new trail to hike, or a new bike path or an outdoor game at the playground. What makes “adventure” exciting is the uncertainty of the outcome and the richness of the journey along the way. Not only does it make life exciting for the kids, but it also keeps Mom and Dad feeling young, too.
Hiking and exploring new trails, whether at home or on vacation, can be a great way to exercise, but it's also a great way to spend quality time together as a family. Some members of our staff do the same, seeing it as an opportunity to travel to places like Yellowstone or Glacier National Park, or even hiking around Christmas tree farms in North Carolina to cut down their holiday tree.
Movement and Play
All families seem to be more and more busy these days, but being busy doesn’t necessarily equate to being active. Many times, the activity of choice is jumping onto an iPad or Nintendo and vegging out on the couch. Many Americans have gotten accustomed to this sedentary lifestyle, and it is leading to more and more health issues in adults and children. Luckily, there are some simple solutions to change that.
First, limit screen time. Take a family walk or bike ride around the neighborhood. Go to the park and actually play on the playground, or even do some yoga in the backyard. If your kids are willing, sign them up for a sport and practice with them. Get a basketball hoop, toss the football, or kick a soccer ball around. If the weather is nice, sunset bike rides are an amazing option to have. All in all, try to commit your family to at least an hour of activity per day, and you’ll notice the results.
What is the best way to create memories with your family? We believe the answer is quality time together. A lot of our staff live in Florida, so most weekends you’ll find us at the beach playing in the waves, surfing and taking walks – these are some of our most precious memories. We believe quality time is the best investment a parent can make for their family. Yes, family fun outings require planning, but when you make fitness a family affair, you naturally spend quality time together, which reinforces family bonding.
This is an opportunity to teach your kids lessons about life, nature, teamwork and overcoming obstacles – these are all things fitness can teach. Whether you are training for a race, learning to swim in the ocean, hiking a trail, riding a bicycle or even practicing a sport, there is generally no growth without some risk and adversity. When you see your family as your primary team, these experiences can turn into missions. As a parent, you help your team when they fall, and you teach them and provide the skills they need for life. The impact that you can have on your children cannot be underestimated. The quality of our relationships with our kids defines the quality of their relationships with everyone else for the rest of their lives, let's make it the best it can be.
Grit, Determination, and Perseverance
If there is one thing we’ve learned, it’s that life is hard. Life is not fair. Everything worth doing is challenging. The best remedy is to embrace it, smile, and keep going, in fitness and beyond. This takes grit, which happens to be one of the most desired skills in today’s workforce, as it’s an indicator of success. Some of the most successful people failed before becoming successful - Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team! Talent can only take you so far. Determination and perseverance will get you the rest of the way, and this is a core principle that fitness can teach.
Gratitude and Pride
Making fitness a family affair leads to a sense of gratitude and pride when you accomplish your goals together - even if it’s small, like swimming across the pool for the first time. Our children and families are worth our effort, time, and energy, and it’s important for them to know that! Being active instills a gratefulness to ourselves, our bodies, and a sense of family pride, and our hope is that the next generation would carry this with them through the rest of their lives.