Regular exercise together with family can help keep you strong physically and emotionally, especially during challenging times. Summer season is a good time to focus on being more active, especially outdoors. Children and teens (ages six to 17) need to get at least one hour of moderateto vigorous-intensity physical activity every day, as recommended by the American Heart Association. Active children tend to have:
- A healthy weight.
- Strong heart, bones and muscles.
- Good brain health and strong academic performance.
- Positive mental health, confidence and self-esteem.
- Less stress, anxiety and depression.
To find more family fitness time, plan and choose activities that fit your busy lifestyle. Try to set aside at least 30 minutes three times a week for family exercise after work or dinner. If 30 minutes isn’t doable, try two 15-minute sessions, or whatever fits everyone’s schedule. Keep it simple.
- Walk 15 to 30 minutes every possible day together.
- Walk your dog or a neighbor’s.
- Bike or skateboard on safe routes. • Plan exploratory hikes.
- Paddle a canoe or kayak to build muscle.
- Play catch, volleyball, tennis or pickle ball.
- Plan active vacations or weekend outings.
- Choose one family physical activity every weekend.
- Include home chores (rake leaves, wash the car, clean up the garden).
Note: Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week, such as brisk walking. You can break it up into segments of any length; it’s the total amount that counts. Now, turn off the digital distractions and head outdoors.
Learn more at cdc.gov/physicalactivity. And celebrate Family Health and Fitness Day.
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