Regular physical activity is essential for weight maintenance and prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and osteoporosis. Children and adolescents raised in families with active lifestyles are more likely to stay active as adults.
Did you know:
One hour of moderate physical activity means doing activities where you breathe hard, such as hiking or dancing. Twenty minutes of vigorous physical activity means doing activities where you sweat, including running, aerobics or basketball.
- Makes you feel good.
- Helps you keep a healthy weight.
- Makes your heart happy.
- Makes you stronger.
- Makes you flexible.
Information from www.letsgo.org
Move an hour every day. Physical activity can be free and fun.
- Take a walk with your family or dog
- Play tag
- Jump Rope
- Play Frisbee
- Take the stairs
- Obstacle course – set up a course with Hula-Hoops, two-by-fours, a tricycle, a spoon and egg, balance ball … anything you can think of! Set a timer and see who and complete the course the fastest, or just have them finish as many times as they can. Get kids involved in creating a course where everyone can compete.
- Driveway hockey – block the driveway with a parked car to ensure safety. Set up a goal at each end of the driveway with boxes or just a chalk line. Use a lightweight ball instead of a puck. Use tennis rackets, brooms or other household objects if you don’t have hockey sticks. Play for fun, or see who can reach five goals first.
- Mixed-up sports – Gather all your sports equipment and challenge kids to use each item for a different activity than it is usually used for. Toss a football through a basketball net. Try catching a Frisbee with a baseball glove. Play soccer with a tennis ball.
- Treasure hunt – Hid a treasure in your backyard. Write clues on several index cards. Players earn their clues by completing a fitness challenge, such as jumping rope 100 times. If the player can’t find the treasure after receiving a clue, he or she returns it and completes another fitness challenge to receive another clue. Keep going until someone finds the treasure.
- Hallway bowling – use cereal boxes or other lightweight objects to create 10 bowling pins. Set the pins up in a pyramid shape at the end of a long hallway. Each player takes a turn rolling a ball (or other round objects –try an orange!) to knock down the pins. Create your own scoring system and play 10 rounds (or until bowling fatigue sets in!)
- Fort face-off – Make two teams. Gather blankets, towels, chairs, card tables and other fort-making supplies. Players earn their fort supplies by creating a fitness challenge, such as jumping jacks, squats, etc. Build the forts as supplies are earned and then just play, or have the leader declare a winning fort.
- Life-size board game – Use masking tape to create a life-size board with 20 spaces large enough to stand in. Number the spaces, placing a diamond in several random spaces. Each player rolls a die and moves the number of spaces indicated. If a player lands on a diamond, then the next person in line assigns a fitness challenge (try 20 sit ups or push-ups) and sends the player back to the first space. The first player to reach the last space wins.
- Fitness Go Fish – Play Go Fish with a fitness twist. Each time a player says “Go fish,” then he or she gets to assign a fitness challenge, such as running up and down the stairs five times or jumping jacks, toe touching, etc.