While growing up, sports were a huge part of my family’s life. My brothers and I were very involved in school and community athletics. We loved being physically active and sports offered the opportunity to do so while also being something that our entire family could enjoy. Our mom was very supportive, encouraging and attended all of our games. She was our biggest cheerleader!
Being involved in school sports was not all fun and games. It was a lot of hard work and determination. It required many hours in practice sessions (4-5 times a week) building stamina, endurance, learning how to really be a team player and learning how to exhibit good sportsmanship. As a youth, I didn’t realize that what I was learning through sports have turned into life long lessons.
Being physically active, whether through school athletics or other means is something that the entire family can do together. Regardless of age, ability and interest, there are numerous activities that you and your family can participate in. With a little bit of planning and creativity, you will be well on your way to leading a healthier lifestyle.
What are the benefits of regular physical activity? Regular physical activity promotes a longer, healthier life. It helps to maintain a healthy weight and supports better-quality sleep. Moderate physical activity also helps strengthen and maintain bones and muscles and promotes joint health. High-intensity, high-impact activity can damage muscles, bones and joints over time, especially if a person doesn’t allow enough time for rest and recovery after intense physical activity. This is true for adults, but is a point that is especially important to remember for growing children. Family members should be taught to listen to their bodies, and focus family-activities more on fun physical activities that can be continued throughout a person’s lifetime.
Here are a few ideas that may be a good fit for you and your family:
- go for a hike
- wash the family car
- plant a garden
- take Zumba lessons
- go camping
- play hide and seek
- have a pillow fight
- adopt a park and keep it clean
Take action today! If you and your family are not physically active, now is the time to start!