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Family Fitness

Release Date: May 5, 2021

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, a time to highlight the benefits of physical fitness and the importance of families staying active. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, kids need 60 minutes or more of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily, and adults need at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity to maintain or improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Physical activity is one of the most important things families can do to improve their health. When families are physically active together, not only do they gain the combined benefits of being and growing together, but it encourages and builds healthy habits for the future.

It is never too late to get started on a family fitness journey. An active lifestyle is a great family goal that can be achieved with a few creative changes. Here are a few ideas to get you and your family moving.

Indoor Activities

  • Play active games. Create an indoor obstacle course, play charades, play hide-and-go-seek, complete a scavenger hunt, or build a fort.
  • Embrace modern technology. Many online services offer free virtual fitness classes and activity games you can play on your TV or tablet.
  • Turn up the tunes. Play musical chairs, freeze dance, or have a dance party while doing indoor chores.
  • Break up sitting time. Plan an instant recess and have everyone engage in light calisthenics like jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, sit-ups, marching in place, or Hula-Hoop.

Outdoor Activities

  • Pound the pavement. Walk or run outside. Go hiking or explore the trails at a local park. If you have a pet, go on family walks with your dog.
  • Put wheels to the ground. Ride a bicycle, a skateboard, rollerblades, or a scooter on a bike path, in an empty parking lot, or through your neighborhood.
  • Encourage backyard games. Play a game of tag, Frisbee, jump rope, Hula-Hoop, or hopscotch.
  • Assign active chores. Mowing the lawn, raking leaves, weeding in the garden, or washing the car are just a few examples of how chores can be active.
  • Have a ball. Play soccer or tennis, toss a baseball or football, or involve your children in organized sports.
  • Make a splash. Run through the sprinklers, go to the beach and jump over waves, paddle in a lake with canoes or kayaks, try paddleboarding, or have a water balloon fight.

For more resources and tools on how you can get your family moving, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Move Your Way website. For additional safety tips and COVID-19 prevention measures, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Choosing Safer Activities website.

Always consult with your physician before starting any diet or exercise plan. For more information on employee resources, please contact worklife@hq.dhs.gov.

Last Updated: 05/05/2021
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