Saturday, June 22 2024 - 1:25 AM
woman walking her baby in stroller
Photo by Dreamstime

It’s Time to Move!

Over the past several years, the media has encouraged us to become physically active, but the excuses for not moving seem to reign. “I’m too busy,” “I have no place to work out,” or “I’m too tired;” are some of the popular ones. Even though we know the rewards of getting out there and sweating, we still find ourselves sitting in front of the TV for hours, hardly moving our limbs.

What about making a change for good health? What about cutting off the TV and making physical activity an event? Parents, grab the toddlers and teens and make it a family event. Talk to your neighbors and make arrangements to be accountable to each other. These mini events can serve as motivators to get everyone moving.  What can we do as a group?

A Few Suggestions to Get Started:

•    At least once a week, plan a family or neighbors’ walk around the neighborhood. Sometimes these walks can turn into valuable talking time. If the toddlers get too tired, take a stroller or a wagon and keep moving. Create activities when you walk, such as a photo scavenger hunt. Try tossing a ball or a hacky sack and make it into a game. Or play I Spy… a flower, a black car, etc., and make it a game.  Instead of walking, try bike riding instead.

•    Instead of driving a half mile to the grocery store, walk or bike to the store, and everyone can help carry the groceries home. This will help save on gas too.

•    Once a week, plan a family outing to the local park or mall. If it is in the park, play volleyball, basketball, or even catch. For the younger kids, bring a beach ball and play dodge ball on the grass. If it is in the mall, get pedometers for everyone and keep track of the number of steps. Keep a record and gradually increase the number of steps.

•    Plan physical activity events over the weekend. Explore museums, botanical gardens, and beaches, or hike at a local park or reserve. Visit a local playground or a neighborhood school that has opened its gym or track to the community. Make it a rule that everyone must leave the house and get moving.

•    Keep small equipment around the house such as light-weighted balls, jump ropes, and exercise DVDs. Act out a story in one of their favorite books for small children. Pretend to climb mountains and swim the rivers to get to a destination. Engage the imagination but keep them moving.

Making the Choice

Our bodies are designed to move, and physical activity can help us stay healthy. Commit to working out at least four times a week for at least 30 minutes; 60 minutes for children. All of this movement helps us to keep our waistline trim, keep our heart and blood vessels in good condition and help us to maintain our energy levels. Good health doesn’t just happen; we make choices to help our bodies stay that way!

If you liked this, you may also like Benefits of Exercise

Pamela Williams writes from Southern California.

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About Pamela A. Williams, MPH, RD

Pamela A. Williams, MPH, RD

is a dietitian, photographer, and writer in Southern California.

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