At Gosh!, we’re all about healthy living, which is why we’ve created a nutritionally packed range for your family to indulge in. Our foods have everything you need to support a healthy diet, but unfortunately this is only half the battle when pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
Regular exercise is the other oh so important half of the equation. As a parent, injecting the motivation your family needs to be physically active can seem impossible- and with children needing 60 minutes of exercise each day, finding an excuse to get them off the sofa proves difficult.
What are the benefits of being active?
Physical activity can lower heart risks, control weight and help you focus. Exercising together can also strengthen the relationships within your family, improve communication, and build lifetime healthy habits for your children. Exercise can also make us happier, with the release of endorphins contributing to feelings of fulfilment.
As good as it all sounds, family life is busy and finding time to stay active can be a struggle. Even if you have the time, getting children to care can be challenging. We’ve come up with some fun ways to engage the whole family and keep you active this Veganuary!
10 ways to keep your family active
Get on your bike or take a walk
An easy way to get some physical activity into your routine is to swap out the regular car journeys for bike rides or long walks. Try doing this at least once a week, starting off slow and adding distance ride by ride, walk by walk.
You could even create a log in which you keep track of what you’ve achieved. This is a great way to keep the effort up, try adding rewards like fun days out for big mile stones!
Not only is this physical activity good on you, but it’s also kind on the environment. Check out out How to Help the Environment at Home to find out about how else you can keep the planet healthy at home.
Taking time out of your schedule as often as you can to play with your kids can be another great way to keep them physically active. Some of the games your family will love the most are the ones that involve a tonne of exercise, whether they’re aware of it or not.
The list of games you can play is endless, why not try tag, hide and seek, capture the flag or musical chairs? Some of these activities work best in numbers and can be a great way to get the whole family involved.
Doing the gardening doesn’t have to be a chore, and it can be another great excuse to get the kids outdoors. Garden work can also get the blood pumping, pulling weeds, digging holes and transporting garden waste is no easy task, especially for younger children.
Why not plan a vegetable garden to grow your own produce. Not only does this mean regular trips outside for you and your kids, but it also means you’re eating healthy and living sustainably.
Plan a family sports day
We all love a sports day, perhaps you remember them from your days at school, or have gone to watch your children participate in them. Planning a day of sport at home with some fun physical activities could be a great excuse to get the family moving.
Some activities could include:
- An egg an spoon race
- A sack race
- A wheelbarrow race
- Treasure hunt
- Hulla hoop marathon
- Frisbee toss
The list could go on and on and on! If you’re facing poor weather outside, adapt and hold the games inside the house.
Limit screen time
Phones and other devices are an issue every parent will have to deal with at one point or another. If not supervised or moderated properly they can have detrimental effects on family health, gluing you and your children to the sofa for hours on end.
Limiting the amount of time your kids spend in front of screens can be a great way of increasing their levels of physical activity. Encourage them to play outdoors and get more involved in nature. Try and make regular exercise a normality in their routine, this way they’re more likely to keep it up in years to come.
Be the change you want your kids to see
One of the best ways to instil a positive attitude towards exercise in your kids is to lead by example. Focusing on your own physical health will encourage your kids to do the same. Make sure they’re aware of the effort you’re making to maintain good levels of exercise and eat/drink healthily.
Being a positive role model will have immediate effects, but will also have a long-term impact on how your children view and maintain healthy living.
Run or walk for charity
Raising money for charity is an amazing incentive to get some exercise back into our routines. There are a tonne of organisations out there who put on regular walks or runs to help raise money for their cause.
A local run or walk could be a great chance to introduce your family to some fitness. It is also a great learning opportunity for your kids, teaching them the value of helping less fortunate and vulnerable people.
Like working in the garden, doing the chores inside of the house doesn’t have to be boring. Getting the kids involved can help keep them active and teach them the value of hard work. Put some music on and get going!
Get them hoovering, removing clutter, changing the beds or dusting (what they can reach!). Make sure you reward them with something fun to do when they’ve done a good job.
Visit your local recreational centre to see what sports they have going on there. Many centres around the country have amazing facilities including gyms, swimming pools, play parks and climbing walls. There are also centres dotted around with bike trails.
This can be a great way to try something different and stay physically active while enjoying a day out with the whole family.
Dancing is a really easy way to squeeze some activity out of your family. It’s one of those actions that doesn’t necessarily feel like physical activity, but is in fact an amazing way to cut down some calories.
Stick on some music and throw your very own dance party for you and your kids. Why not include prizes for the best dressed amongst your cohort, or for the person who busts out the best move.
Local sports teams
Signing your kids up to a local sports team or activity could be a great way to make sure they’ve got regular exercise in their routine.
We are lucky to have an abundance of grass routes teams in our country, with football, netball, hockey, rugby and many other clubs just a stones throw away. Not only are they great for keeping children active, but matches can be a great social event for the whole family to attend.
Clubs like these are also a great opportunity for kids to form friendships with one another.
The toys you let you children play with have a big impact on how they spend their time. To maximise time doing exercise outdoors you should avoid buying video games and devices for your kids. Instead get them a ball, a kite, a skipping rope, or a frisbee. These gifts could be a fun way to make sure your family are getting the exercise they need!
Take it slowly, introduce exercise to the family routine little by little. If the focus is too heavy too soon, children can be put off, building a bad association with physical activity for years to come.
It is also important to note that exercise alone will not be enough for your family to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet is also crucial to keep up if you’re looking out for your family’s health. Avoid foods high in salt, sugar and saturated fat. Put focus on fruit and vegetables, the right proteins and fibres.
You could even consider moving towards a plant-based diet. Check out our Going Vegan for Beginners to find out more about the transition and the benefits that come with it..
At Gosh! we’ve created a range of vegan food, high in fibre, low in saturated fat and a great source of protein. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or flexatarian, we’ve got something for you.