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Friday, November 24, 2017

5 Family Fun Fitness Activities by Brent Frayser

Forty years ago, it was a nightly battle for parents to get their children inside for dinner or for the night. Today, it is hard to get them outside and active. The advent and hypnotic pull of technology has drastically changed the way we live our daily lives. In the last twenty years we've seen an alarming rate of obesity and other health problems in children and young adults due to sedentary lifestyles.


The foods we used to eat were prepared at home and we ate our meals as a family around the table, which meant we spent time digesting and conversing. We played on the playground, at school gyms, around our neighborhoods. We were active from morning until bedtime.

The opportunities for physical activity today as it existed yesterday are still there but the opportunity has to be acted upon. Laptops and smartphones are the leading cause of inactivity, surpassing television as the leading cause, not only for children, but most adults. The fast food industry has taken hold of our culture and it has become rare to see families sit together at meal times with home-cooked meals.

As parents, we set the foundation for many aspects of life for our children, from values and work ethic to outlook and lifetime fitness habits. Staying active for yourself and your family and making
fitness a family affair, will not only lead to healthy adults but happy ones who are able to bounce back quicker from injuries and illnesses, and live longer lives.

The results of a research study on children and obesity published in children's health journal Acta Paediatrica, have revealed startling results regarding children and their sedentary lifestyles. The findings report that children's arm strength dropped by 26% and their grip strength by 7% since 1998. The research also found that in 1998, 1 in 20 children were able to hold their own weight when hanging from a bar but only 1 in 10 children can do the same today.

How To Get Started

If you and your family haven't been active, there might be some resistance at first, but experts say both the body and the mind can be re-programmed in only a few short weeks, so sticking with the plan to get healthier and more active until it becomes habit, is the key. Start slow.

You can start with 10 or 20-minute walks. Or start with an activity that you like to do such as basketball or volleyball. The time spent on these activities will gradually increase. Staying healthy as a family requires the whole team's involvement. Here are five family activities that you can begin with to get your family to an optimal state of health:


Walking is one of the easiest and low-impact exercises there is to stay fit and healthy. The good thing is that we already do it so well. Gather the family and take long walks in the park, at a local campground or just around your neighborhood. This is an excellent bonding activity as it allows for conversation and is good both before dinner and after. At a later time, you can incorporate small hiking trips as your energy levels increase through exercise. 

TV Fitness Breaks
If you can't cut out television altogether, when you are watching television make every commercial break a fitness break. For every commercial, the family jumps up and does an exercise of someone's choice. Everyone gets a turn choosing an exercise. Make it fun. When commercials are over, the exercise is over. You'll feel the benefits immediately.

Roller Skating or Rollerblading

Roller skating is an excellent outdoor activity that the whole family can participate in. Not only does it improve mood, but it is easy on the joints and you can create skills games and baton races to add to the fun when skating as a family. Roller skating is excellent for gliding along in conversation as well and is a wonderful way to get the family together on the weekends.

Obstacle Course

You can easily create an obstacle course in your backyard. When mom and dad participate in activities with their children, the children are more involved and willing to get active. Obstacle course help move every part of your body and help children develop motor, emotional and social skills. Your obstacle course can have a multitude of different activities built in such as: throwing, kicking, jumping, sliding, balance, and hopping.


One of the lowest impact, cardiovascular exercises is bike riding. Not only is it healthy for the whole body, but it boosts brain health as well, which means it’s a perfect health routine for the whole family. A recent study revealed that brain scans show an increase in the brain's white matter when a person exercises using an "overlearned skill" like bicycling.

It is up to adults to teach children the healthy habits of activity and exercise. We must break the cycle of sedentary lifestyles and the resulting obesity and disease which is shortening our lives. Creating the foundation for healthy habits for the whole family is easy and rewarding.

Make an activity jar. Let the whole family come up with healthy activities that the whole family can do together. Write them on strips of paper and place the strips in the jar. Draw from the jar every day or make it a weekend jar. The main goal is to get the whole family active and healthy. Every activity you do, whether indoors or outdoors, helps to create a love for health and wellness which leads to a long life.

Brent Frayser is a media relations representative for Pure Barre, who is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor’s Degree of Business Administration (Major in Marketing, Minor in Management).  He was born and raised in the south, is very outgoing, with a strong sense of determination.  In his spare time, he enjoys: reading, writing, coaching baseball and football, and spending time with family and friends.  

Blog Administrator:  Trisha Roberts

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