Another celebration has fallen upon the last Saturday of September—it is National Family Health and Fitness Day!
On September 26, families are encouraged to join in the annual celebration of the importance of health, wellness, and family fitness. It is a day to spread awareness and remind everyone of the vital role of regular physical activity in everybody’s lives.
On this special day, everyone—schools, local organizations, health clubs, and family groups—join hands in celebrating the event in their own little way despite the pandemic.
This month might not be the greatest one we ever had, with the health crisis and all, but it proves to be an excellent reason why you should make family fitness a priority.
Despite home quarantine and social distancing protocols, you and your family can still partake in this healthy event.
So, here are five creative ways to safely celebrate National Family Health and Fitness Day!
1. Make Exercise Fun
When planning family activities, always keep it simple and fun, especially if you have little kids in your pack.
The word “exercise” does not really stir any excitement from any kid ever. It sounds like a chore—something that you should do because someone told you to.
The key to stirring the younglings’ interest is by using words and phrases that get them going, such as games and competition! Fun should always be an overriding factor in fitness events, especially if you have kids and teens in your household.
Here are examples of how to get the kids on the healthy side of the spectrum while also having loads of enjoyment.
- Afternoon games that will get all of you up and moving, such as squirt gun wars, touch football, kickball, or Marco Polo (if you have your own pool).
- Organize a backyard treasure hunt.
- Do family challenges and competitions (longest hula hoop and jumping rope contest)
- Dance to your favorite upbeat songs
- Host a scavenger hunt in the backyard complete with obstacle courses
2. Join Family Events
Despite lockdowns, your family can still sign up and join family events virtually. You can call or visit the online pages of your local health club, YMCA, and family organizations.
You can join in on what they had organized for the event, such as health discussions regarding family fitness, how to help spread the word, and the available online activities you can do.
After that, you can organize a family meeting and have everyone chip in everything they learned in the online health discussions.
As parents, it is also important to emphasize why regular physical activity plays a huge role in a growing kid or teen’s life. Some of its benefits include:
- Strengthens the whole-body systems
- Decrease the risk of getting diseases
- Improved sleep
- Enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence
- Reduce stress
- Builds positive traits like teamwork and cooperation
3. Healthy Hobbies and Habits
Another way to celebrate family fitness is by incorporating it into you and your family’s everyday lives.
Start building a healthy life by instilling good habits and cultivating healthy hobbies into your children’s lives. You can start by
- Teaching them not to fear healthy veggies on their plate.
- Eating healthy meals and snacks with occasional sweet treats
- Limiting screen time and spending more time with the family.
- Encouraging them to try a sport.
- Practicing good hygiene, such as taking a bath every day and brushing their teeth.
- Support and let them pursue their hobby
Remember that it always starts at the top. Set a good example for your kids by practicing these healthy habits on your own.
Encouraging them to pursue their hobbies are not just good for their physical health but also to their mental well-being. Being able to express themselves while doing something they love is a form of meditation to the mind.
4. Bring the Fun Outside
Joining actual family events might not be an option this year due to the virus still at large. However, you can still safely celebrate family health and fitness day by introducing the kids to the outdoors.
While there are no shortages in at-home fun events, going outside and having a whiff of fresh air and surroundings can be useful for everybody.
Make sure to go outdoors only when lockdown protocols in your place have been lifted. It would be best to do these activities while practicing social distancing and wearing proper protective gear (masks and face shields). Don’t forget to bring hand sanitizer for good measure.
Some activities to enjoy outside include:
- A walk in the park with the whole family.
- Bike or jog around the neighborhood.
- Develop your little kickers’ ability by playing soccer
- Do simple stretches and jumping jacks in your front lawn
- Pick up your racquet and play badminton or tennis
- Introduce gardening and develop their green thumb
You can do these things inside the safety of your home by subscribing to kid-friendly online workouts. You can also sign up for virtual family classes of your sport choices such as taekwondo and salsa dancing.
5. Enjoy Mundane Tasks
Family fitness does not have to be extravagant and organized. You can find and incorporate wellness in simple, everyday tasks without having to spend a penny or doing big preparations.
One way to do this is by taking the “chore” out of household chores and making it simple yet fun family bonding.
Let the kids help with cleaning. Make it exciting by creating a game out of it. Making it enjoyable prevents household chores from having a bad reputation for kids. This way, they will not grow up hating it but instead view it as a positive and healthy activity.
If you have teenagers in the house, you can make chores light and fun by blasting pop music in the speakers. Assign partners to do each task so each family member can bond while doing mundane tasks. Some examples include:
- Raking the garden leaves and jumping in on them
- Wash the car and have a little water gun fight
- Let the kids help in cooking a meal or baking an afternoon snack
- Sweep and mop the floor while doing silly dances
- Play a scavenger hunt while cleaning the house (hide treats in surprising places)
- Assign a chore for each teen and reward them by having an extra hour on the TV