The third challenge for our Healthy Challenge families—the Lehmans and Avaglianos—was to get active and add more steps to their daily lives. Walking 10,000 steps a day can help you lose weight, lower your risk of diabetes and even give you more energy. With this goal, the Lehmans walked their way to victory by increasing their fitness regimen and doing fun family outdoor activities. Follow the Lehmans lead and sneak in exercise time for you and your family. Here, our expert trainers’ offer 8 tips on how to get your family moving and exercising:
1. Get everyone on board. “While the kids may be a little unwilling to make a change to their lifestyle, the example set by Mom and Dad can go a long way toward adjusting their mind-set (and sometimes vice versa),” says the Avagliano kids’ coach, TJ Loos, a certified personal trainer at Tilton Fitness in Galloway, New Jersey, who specializes in youth and senior fitness as well as sport-specific training. “Any process is easier when you have a support system.”
2. Go back to basics. “Do simple, traditional moves that use your own body weight,” suggests Tiffany’s coach, Lass Lassiter, a certified fitness trainer and former staff sergeant in the U.S. Army who helps whip clients into shape at Gold’s Gym in West Des Moines, Iowa. “Try exercises like squats and push-ups at home and you’ll get an excellent sweat session.”
3. Make every errand count. “Park far from your destination so that you and the kids have to walk, and take the stairs instead of the elevator,” says Ann Erik, personal training director at Tilton Fitness in Galloway, New Jersey, who coached the Avagliano parents.
4. Do what you love. “Find activities that are fun for the whole family,” says Lassiter. “Maybe it’s dodgeball or kickball; maybe it’s hiking or bike rides. If everyone enjoys it, you’ll make time to add it to your schedule.”
5. Model behavior. “Kids look up to you,” explains Andy’s coach, Wesley Keith, a certified personal trainer at Gold’s Gym in West Des Moines, Iowa. “They’re going to see that Dad had a big objective, he set out to achieve it and he did it. This will teach and motivate them.”
6. Make a smart swap. “Skip dessert and instead go for an after-dinner family walk three to four times a week,” suggests Erik.
7. Set goals. “They help. Not only do they keep people and families focused on the mission, but they also provide a measuring stick for your progress,” says Loos.
8. Make the switch. “If you hit a plateau, think FITT and change one of these things: the frequency, intensity, type or time of your routine,” suggests Keith.
3 Items to Get You Moving
If you need more motivation, here are 3 things that helped our Healthy Challenge families sweat it out this month:
Fitbit Ultra Wireless Activity Tracker does more than count your steps, calories and distance. It also has a sleep tracker, stair counter and stopwatch, plus it wirelessly uploads your info to the Fitbit site, where you can compare your stepping with other users’. Seeing how the competition was doing on Fitbit.com was great motivation for our families.
What gets you moving better than a brand new pair of kicks? The kids and adults in our families sent in their shoe sizes and got to lace up the most popular running styles of Asics sneakers, all of which offered gel cushioning, support and stability.
Active.com, a site where you can find and register for races such as 5K and 10K walks and runs, team sports and recreational activities, invited our families to participate in an event for free. The site also lets you connect with others who share your fitness interests and start an online training program to prep for an event.
How do you get your family to exercise? What activities work for your family? Share in the comments below!