Simplicity is key. Starting family traditions at an early age, allows for healthy routines later on in life for children. Taking walks around the neighborhood is the perfect activity that gets the whole family moving. My husband has bad knees and a three year old with short legs, so they cannot always keep up with bike rides or running. Walks are something everyone can do together at a slow or fast pace. We have a puppy too so it gets her out of the back yard. Fitness is for the whole family.
It is recommended that people get between 30-60 minutes a day of moderate physical activity. Start small. Start with your neighborhood, around the block. If your family is not ready for a major hike, visit a local park. Practice walking the easier routes and conquer those paths and hills until everyone feels comfortable enough to try something more adventurous.
Incorporate walking into your daily routine. Park and walk at a distance when shopping, walk if you can instead of drive. This will help reinforce walking as part of your lifestyle. Children pick up on routines like this fast. Teach them that the shortest route is not always best.
Make it fun. Find an upcoming local walk that the family can do. Find a local place where you can have a picnic or visit an aquarium, a zoo, a park or a museum as part of the walk.
Bring enough snacks and water. Ensuring everyone stays hydrated and energized throughout the walk makes the walk more enjoyable. Dropping sugar levels and getting dehydrated can make people tired, cranky and irritable.
According to Dr. Oz, regular walkers have fewer heart attacks and strokes, have lower blood pressure, and have higher levels of healthy HDL cholesterol than couch sitters do. In one study of women, a regular walking program did just as much in the heart-protection department as more vigorous exercise did. Thirty minutes of walking a day makes your muscles more sensitive to insulin. That allows glucose to do its duty inside your cells rather than pile up in your bloodstream (that’s what happens when you have diabetes). It also helps give you good energy. Not only can a walk perk you up when you need it, but also it helps improve the quality of your sleep, so you’re more energetic all day long. I know as a mother of 2, I could use all the energy I can get.
Get the family together, talk and walk. Enjoy each one another company. Let the kids explore nature. Make a game out of it. Who can find the most pine cones, acorns, etc? There are adventures around every corner. Help your kids explore.