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Get Family Fit: Family Activity Points

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Overview

Get physically active together, as a family! The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children be active for at least 60 minutes per day. Some of that time may come from physical activity offered in schools through physical education classes or classroom brain breaks. For adults, it is recommended to participate in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week. Be a healthy role model, and make physical activity fun at home by playing family activity points.

Take Action

Encourage everyone to think of fun activities that get you up and moving, off the couch, and away from the TV. Incorporating new games and learning new activities is one way to keep physical activity fun. Make getting more physical activity and exercise a family challenge through family activity points.

  • How it works:
    • Develop a list of activities to try on a weekly or monthly basis.
    • Choose a different activity each day or each week to try. Think of ways to have fun and be physically active at the same time. For example, turn on music while making dinner and have a dance party while waiting for the meal to cook!
    • Assign various points depending on the activity. For example, walk around the block is 1 point, jump rope for 10 minutes is 2 points, and run for 15 minutes is 3 points.
    • Add in bonus points if a family member does an extra physical activity that day.
  • Set goals! Measurable goals will help your family become more physically active and celebratory of achievements along the way. At the end of each week or month, assess your progress. Types of measurable goals can include distance, frequency, intensity or time.
  • Keep a family activity calendar to record the amount and type of activity for each family member and award points accordingly. Post the calendar on the fridge or share through social media.
  • Choose activities that are both enjoyable and accessible.
  • Integrate new activities as you build success and momentum. Take pictures, share stories and words of encouragement with one another.
  • Issue a family challenge.
  • Schedule your activity. Start by identifying 10- to 30-minute time slots during the week. Choose times of the day or week when everyone is most likely to stick to the schedule.
  • Create recess at home plan to try new activities or spark ideas.
  • Limit your screen time to encourage more activity time.
  • Plan physical activities during all four seasons. For example, create a summer bucket list or participate in a SuperBowl Challenge. Consider incorporating physical activity with water during the warmer summer months.

Tips

Provide educational opportunities for the whole family to share the importance and benefits of physical fitness.

Not sure where to start? Consider walking! Walking is the simplest way to start being physically active.

Celebrate your achievements with healthy rewards or healthy parties!

Share your ideas and activities with friends and relatives.  Invite them to join in and get moving too!

Integrate activities for aerobic fitness, muscular endurance, muscular strength and flexibility for overall health and well-being.

Include warm-up activities to prepare the body for more intense movement and cool-down activities to reduce your heart and breathing rate.