In today’s busy world of full-time work, parent-teacher nights and last-minute dioramas, we know that keeping your family healthy and moving can be a struggle.

Fitting in more activity at home

Many of us are so busy that fitting in physical activity can seem impossible on most days. But here’s some good news! You don’t have to be active for a certain number of minutes each day, as long as you get at least 2½ hours of moderate activity a week.

When the whole family does physical activities together, children learn that being active is fun and makes you feel good. And busy parents can combine family time with exercise time. Here are some tips to help get your family off their screens and out moving together.

1. Make it fun. Start with something your kids already like. That can be anything from biking to playing ball to dancing or just walking. Don’t do it better or faster than them. Just do it with them. And when your kids get good at it, they might just leave you behind.

2. Start small. Every family is different but plan for a short activity if this is your first outing. A brief hike, a jog around the block or a neighborhood walk are great ways to start.

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3. Adjust your expectations. New activities can be hard or even scary for kids. Think of games that will bring everyone to the same level during the activity — like “follow-the-leader.” And if your kids fall, don’t be afraid to fall with them.

4. Be prepared for the weather. Go in the mornings or the evenings on hot days. And if it’s cold or wet, bring extra gloves and hats. Hand and toe warmers help, too. Don’t forget sunscreen, even in the winter.

5. Put it on the calendar. It can be hard to get kids excited about activities. Doing them regularly will help. Ask your kids what they want to do and mix it up. Sometimes just getting out of the house is the hard part.

6. Plan for staying in. Some days you won’t be able to get outside. Those are the days to have an indoor cardio session, exercise with Hula-Hoops or set up an obstacle course in the living room.

7. Bring healthy food along for long days. For activities longer than a few hours, bring nutritious snacks and water. You’ll be surprised how a few apple slices will keep kids going.

Staying active can improve your family’s health and lift their spirits. If you enjoy an active lifestyle or would like to have more of an active lifestyle, contact one of our team members to learn more about how sports medicine can help. Sports & Lifestyle Medicine is not just for athletes — it’s for everyone who wants to move!

Quick Hit List for Fun Family Activities

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“We have a philosophy of working with our patients to make sure they can continue their high level of activity in whatever recreational fields they choose, and we want them to be engaged and fully functional no matter their age.” —Charlene Jones, M.D., Sports Medicine

The ChristianaCare Sports & Lifestyle Medicine team includes sports medicine doctors who treat children and adults; exercise physiologists; physical therapists; certified athletic trainers; nutritionists; and speech pathologists. We also partner with orthopedic surgeons, sports psychologists and other providers when needed. With convenient locations in Delaware and Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, our team of specialists is here to help people of all ages prevent and treat injuries resulting from athletics, exercise or simply living an active, healthy lifestyle. If you have a musculoskeletal issue related to a sport, a job or just everyday life, you can count on us for expert care. Contact us online or call us at 302-320-9440 today to schedule an appointment.