How to Keep the Family Active in January

Staying fit or keeping your resolution to be more active is often made easier when you have people alongside you with the same goals. That can be especially true when those people are your family members, who will help encourage you (and vice versa) while spending quality time together.

January marks Family Fit Lifestyle Month, which encourages you as a parent to be a positive role model for a healthy lifestyle. It’s more than just exercise; you can also model your diet to best benefit your loved ones. Here are six tips to make the best of getting healthy together…

1. Take Kids on Grocery Store Trips

A trip to the grocery store with children doesn’t have to be a burden; it can be a chance for some fun and learning together. For example, suggests bringing them along for routine shopping to help point out what to look for on labels to make the healthiest choices.

These are skills that children can develop over time, and will help them make smarter independent decisions about food when they’re older. It’s also a great way to make a somewhat banal task more interactive and fun for you and the kids.

2. Make Commercial Breaks Active

If your little ones are spending some time in front of the television (which is hard to avoid, let’s be honest), you can still work some healthy habits into the viewing sessions, explains

When a commercial comes on, instead of staring blankly at the TV set or hoping it’s not an ad for an expensive toy your kid will want, turn it into a mini-exercise routine. For 1-minute, engage in some jumping jacks, dancing, stretching or push-ups, suggests the source.

3. Embrace the Snow

The winter is often a time when many people “hibernate,” so to speak. They don’t go out as often, and that can negatively impact their health. Instead of hiding inside a warm house with your kids (if it’s super freezing out, you get a pass on this one), you can take them outside for a snowball fight or even to build an igloo on the front yard, suggests Pivot.

Another more practical suggestion is to shovel the driveway as a team. After all, more hands make lighter work! Turn it into a mini-competition to see who can shovel their part of the driveway the fastest (so you can then take a well-deserved break inside your warm house).

4. Walk the Dog Together

Taking Rover out for his daily walk is often a task assigned to one child and it can seem like a bit of a chore to them. However, it’s also a great excuse to get outside with the family dog for some playtime (and it’s also a great way for your furry family member to get some exercise too).

As Belvidere Chiropractic Clinic in New Jersey points out, burning off excess energy is a great way to improve the behavior of your pet. Make it a family affair, find a leash-free park or open green space and really enjoy the winter sunshine and fresh air.

5. Take a Hike

You’ve probably lovingly told one of your family members to “take a hike” at some point, but now you can make it more literal. Gather up the family and strap on snowshoes (if needed), and head off on a trail adventure.

Hiking is a great low-impact exercise, and being outdoors your kids will see a lot of nature along the journey. Pick a destination at the end –say a cafe or a kid-friendly restaurant – to give your kids something else to look forward to at the end of the trek.

6. Eat Together When Possible

Busy schedules sometimes get in the way, but try to sit down as a family for meals as much as possible. It’s a great way to get your kids into the habit of sharing what’s on their mind, and you can monitor what kinds of food they’re putting into themselves.

Even if it’s a small breakfast together, take some time as a family to touch base and ensure everyone is getting some nutrition, even if it’s just a yogurt smoothie, suggests Belvidere Chiropractic Clinic. Instead of ordering in (lots of sodium is common in take-out), learn some simple recipes together and make them as a group.

Jeff Hayward

Jeff Hayward

Jeff has more than 15 years of experience writing professionally about health, travel and the arts among other subjects. He continuously looks to improve his own overall health through exercise, diet and mindfulness. He is also a proud stay-at-home dad that loves taking photographs both professionally and as a hobby.