Wasim H. Raja, MD

Tips for Getting Your Family Excited About Exercise

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Whatever’s ailing you, exercise is almost always the solution — or at least one of them. Your body needs regular movement to stay healthy and fight illness. Protect your family’s health by keeping them active using these practical tips.

Getting your entire family excited about physical activity can be a real challenge. From busy schedules to screen-time overload, life seems to block your best intentions and throw roadblocks into your plans. 

We see this cycle over and over, and we’re determined to help you break it. Dr. Wasim Raja and our team of dedicated medical professionals at Orange County Healthcare Center in Fountain Valley, California, are passionate about exercise. Whether you’re trying to prevent disease and injury or recover from them, exercise is almost always a key component.

If your family seems sluggish and sedentary, it’s time to get them up and moving. 

The dangers of inactivity

A sedentary lifestyle can lead to big problems, like obesitydiabeteshigh blood pressure, and heart disease. Fortunately, you can control these issues with regular exercise. 

Cardiovascular exercise strengthens your heart. Activities like running, biking, swimming, and dancing involve large muscle groups and increase your heart rate and breathing. 

Dr. Raja recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week.

Your overall musculoskeletal health also needs a workout. Weight-bearing exercises like walking, running, or weightlifting maintain bone density and muscle strength. 

Now trending: Sedentary kids

We’re concerned about the trend in children; they’re alarmingly inactive — statistics show that children worldwide don’t move enough. Your kids should shoot for at least 60 minutes of heart-pumping exercise daily to prevent childhood obesity and health problems that carry over into adulthood.

You can help your kids by limiting screen time and encouraging more outdoor activities, such as playing in the park, biking, swimming, dancing, martial arts, or team sports, such as soccer or basketball.

How to motivate your family to move more

Here are some practical tips to help you get your family more active. 

Move it outside

Outdoor activities are a great way to get your heart pumping and offer many benefits, such as improving mood, reducing stress, and boosting overall health — here’s how to make it happen.

Plan activities as a family

Whether a hike, a bike ride, or a picnic, planning activities together gets everyone excited and committed to exercising.

Schedule time for activities

Make exercise a regular part of your family's routine by scheduling time for activities. Whether every Saturday morning or after dinner on weeknights, having a set time for exercise can create a sense of accountability and consistency.

Make it fun

Exercising doesn't have to be boring. Make it fun by turning activities into games or challenges. For example, you could have a scavenger hunt on a hike or a relay race during a bike ride. When everyone is having fun, it won't even feel like exercise.

Talk about it

Talk openly with your family about why you want them to exercise, and help them understand the importance of daily movement.

Lead by example

If you want your family to exercise more, lead by example. Ensure you're also participating in outdoor activities and caring for your health. When your family sees you prioritizing exercise, they'll likely follow suit.

Buy the right toys

With so many toy options available, choosing those that promote physical activity can be overwhelming. Buy toys that encourage running, jumping, throwing, and balancing, such as jump ropes, balls, push toys, frisbees, scooters, and skateboards. 

Avoid toys that promote sedentary behavior, such as video games, phone apps, or computer games. These toys discourage physical activity and contribute to a sedentary lifestyle. 

Turn chores into exercise

You can transform chores into a fun physical activity for the whole family with a little creativity. 

Turn cleaning into a game by setting time limits or goals. For example, see how many toys your child can pick up in five minutes or turn vacuuming into a race to see who can finish their section of the room first.

Put on some music and dance your way through cleaning. Or assign roles to help make chores feel more like a team activity. 

Reward your kids for their hard work and good behavior while doing chores. Verbal praise or an earned privilege for the whole family, such as going for a walk or playing a family game, can go a long way.

To learn more about the benefits of physical activity and which exercises are best for your family, contact us online or call our friendly staff today to schedule a consultation.