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:

  1. A healthy weight.
  2. Strong heart, bones and muscles.
  3. Good brain health and strong academic performance.
  4. Positive mental health, confidence and self-esteem.
  5. 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 And celebrate Family Health and Fitness Day.

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