If your New Year’s resolution is to get your family active, take a step back before you attempt to go 100 mph forward and read the 10 most important things we learned in 2012 about moving as a family.
1. Physical activity is more important than weight loss. Being active improves both your physical and mental health, and how your body feels is more important than how your body looks. Especially when you’re a kid.
2. Finishing first is not the most important part of running a race. So when your video-game-loving kindergartner wants to run a one-mile race, make sure you believe in him. He’s going to finish.
3. Moving doesn’t have to be serious. You can get a healthy dose of exercise while having fun playing games like ant hospital and toilet tag. Yep, those are real games. Seriously.
4. One of the hardest parts about starting a new exercise routine is sticking with it. The good news? We can combine the principles of gaming and psychology to make exercising fun.
5. Getting your family moving doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t take a new sports team for every season to get moving; in fact, there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to be active with kids.
6. The best way to learn to love moving is by having fun. Do you know these dance steps to “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction? If you’re looking to get moving right now, just press play.
7. Going camping with kids can be fun and active, but you also have to prepare properly. Do you have extra layers? Extra snacks? A back-up plan or three? Make sure you go at your kids’ speed to make the camping trip a success.
8. Getting your family active means…getting everyone active. Including you. It’s important to exercise and be a role model for your kids. (And Jillian Michaels workout DVDs can help if you need a celebrity trainer to get you motivated!)
9. Some kids think they don’t like sports. But you never know which aspect of an activity will harness a child’s enthusiasm. Fantasy leagues and player cards could be the key to helping your kid learn to love sports.
10. If you want to get your kids moving as a family, use Zamzee. HopeLab and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation research showed that Zamzee increases physical activity by almost 60%.
We learned a lot in 2012 about how to get moving. What about you? What’s your best tip for moving as a family?