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Family Health and Fitness Day

By: Brian Bradley, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS

Saturday, September 26, 2015, is National Family Health and Fitness Day.  The purpose of this event is to promote family involvement in physical activity.  Many organizations throughout the country will host family-related health and fitness events.  These events will include low-impact exercises, health screenings and health information workshops.  An estimated 10,000 families will participate in this event at over 500 locations nationwide.

Between the late nights and early mornings we work as Athletic Trainers, it is difficult to stay healthy ourselves and try to keep our families healthy.  It is, however, very important to be active and try to keep our families healthy.  The CDC reported that as of 2012, 18 percent of youths aged 6-11 and 21 percent of youths aged 12-19 were obese.  That is up from 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively, in 1980.

Here are some ideas on how you can integrate health and fitness into your family life:

1. Go for a family hike/walk on a weekend or after dinner

2. Be creative. Make a home exercise video and have the children be the stars in it.  Then, post it to www.youtube.com and see how many views you can get

3. Use the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator at stores and in buildings

4. Try to embrace technology. If your family can afford activity tracking devices, have a weekly contest to see who can do the most steps, burn the most calories, etc. Your children are going to play video games, but try to get them to play games that involve being active (Wii Fit, Xbox Kinect, etc.)

5. During halftime of the football game, go outside and have a pickup game of football with the family.  Maybe reenact some of the great plays you just saw on TV

6. Have a Family Olympics Day where you go to the park and hold events (running, baseball toss, push-ups and sit-ups, obstacle course, etc.) and the winner gets a homemade trophy.  You can also document the times/numbers.  Make it a regular event and see if anyone beats their marks

For more information on National Health and Fitness Day and to find events in your area, go to http://www.fitnessday.com/

Resources

http://www.pbs.org/parents/food-and-fitness/sport-and-fitness/family-fitness/

http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm