Does your family know the benefits of daily physical activity? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), some benefits of physical activity include improved sleep, strengthened cardiovascular system, muscles, and bones, decreased stress, and can boost an overall sense of well-being in your family. For older kids and teens, regular physical activity can also help them focus in school and avoid risk-taking behaviors. 

Now that you know some of the benefits of physical activity, let’s think about what your family likes to do for fun. Everyone loves a good movie night or video game challenge, but the same sedentary activities can get boring. Plus, excessive screen time isn’t the best choice for your kids’ bodies and brains. Your entire family will feel a boost in their energy along with the other benefits mentioned if they get physically active, and it’s a blast to be active together. So the next time you are gearing up for a family fun night, ditch the screens and pick one of these activities to get moving!

Check out the neighborhood. Get outside and walk, bike, or rollerblade around to see if your family can make a discovery or find an interesting spot. Is there a great hideout you’ve missed or a wild-looking tree? See what you can discover and have older kids snap some photos! You can also take the family pet along and look for a nearby bike path to reduce traffic and experience more nature.  

Show off your knowledge! Get together and teach each other a new sport or game. Some family members know ballet and others might be great at basketball. Or have kids share what they learned in the physical education class that week. Then, do the activity together!  

Try a new sport. Instead of playing the same old game, try something different like frisbee, hockey, or tennis. Look online for videos that can help you learn all about whatever new games you choose. But wait, what if you do not have the equipment to play these new games? Check closets, basements, or even the garage to see if there are items lying around that will work, and get creative! A broom and an empty soda can work just as well as a hockey stick and puck.

Rain, rain, go away! Don’t let bad weather put a stop to the fun. You can set up some items as pins and do some indoor bowling, or why not create an indoor obstacle course? If you’re looking to achieve two tasks at once, turn some household chores into fun movements. Crank up some music and have a dance party while kids clean up their rooms or put items away.  

Help others. A great way to get the entire family moving together is to reach out to neighbors. Offer to rake leaves, walk dogs, pull weeds, or shovel snow.  These acts of kindness can be great bonding for the family and an opportunity to help out the neighborhood.

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