When it Comes to Exercise: Focus on the Fun!


We all know we should exercise, but finding the time to exercise regularly is tough, if not seemingly impossible for a lot of people. I believe working moms and dads with children, school age and younger, are particularly challenged when it comes to finding time for fitness. That's why, when I talked with both Piedmont Fit Family Challenge Families (say that 3 times fast) I focused on three things and three things only. If you are a parent reading this blog and looking for ideas to help your family get healthier and exercise more, these tips might be helpful to you too. Today's blog focuses on Tip Number One: Focus on the Fun!

Focus on the Fun!
We all have so many things we are responsible for, not just parents but kids too! Life can feel like a list of "have- to-do's," and the last thing we want to do is add yet another to our list. But if we look at fitness and exercise as a means of enjoyment, we can disconnect the negative emotion we connected to the behavior (exercise) making the thought of it more appealing. Take walking for instance. Most people actually like to walk. But if we get wrapped up into the amount of calories we need to burn or the speed and/or arm movement we have to use, we eliminate the pleasure principle. Why? Because rules tend to squelch fun.

Here's an idea: Tell your kids you are planning a family walk and choose a time when it will happen. When you go on the walk, don't attach any rules whatsoever to your movement, and then take it a step further. Ask your kids to come up with different ways to walk and see what happens. They may seem confused at first, but give it a little time. Chances are, they will skip, jump, tippy-toe and even move like a favorite animal. And before you know it, the exercise you thought might not be so well received turns into an opportunity to laugh and play. And when this happens, there's a good chance they'll want to do it again.

Bren Shropshire, a fitness/health coach,�is a member of the Piedmont Parent's 2015 Fit Family Challenge Panel of Experts.

Register your family to participate in Piedmont Parent's 2015 Fit Family Challenge. It's free and it qualifies your family for weekly prize drawings and the grand prize.

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