Keeping physically active brings many health benefits. As an adult, you may be increasing your activity with the aim of losing weight or reducing your risk of a number of health conditions. For children, regular physical activity is also important for growing up to have strong bones and muscles, maintaining a healthy weight and building their confidence.
A great way of both you and your child achieving your recommended level of physical activity is to do things to together that involves physical activity.
Begin to think of you and your child's free time, usually evenings and weekends, as an opportunity for active play and exercise rather than downtime to watch TV or let your kids play computer games. Active play is essential for a young child's development and can be anything from a specific sport to playing simple games at home such as hide and seek, chasing, or throwing and catching a ball.
You can also try taking up a new hobby or sport that you can do together. Ask your child what they would like to do, they might already have an activity in mind that they want to start. If not, there are many fun activities or sports you can do as a family, consider:
If you don't feel ready to take up a sport, start small by incorporating physical activity into your family's daily routine. Try walking or cycling to school instead of taking the car, walking the dog as a family, going on treasure hunts, or doing some heavy housework or gardening together.
Keeping your family motivated
You can help keep your family motivated by scheduling in time for physical activity. Set aside time on certain days of the week for physical activities, and if a conflict comes up, reschedule instead of cancel. Another great way of keeping motivated is to have a common goal. If your child is old enough to take part, look out for upcoming local charity walks or runs that you can work towards and do as a family. Read more about keeping motivated.