The Importance of Exercising as Family - by Jennifer McCracken
The Importance of Exercising as Family – by Jennifer McCracken
by Jennifer McCracken
Jennifer McCracken is a wife, mother, and teacher in Conshohocken. She is committed to a healthy lifestyle and holds a certificate from the Institute of Integrated Nutrition. Jennifer loves spending time with her family, her friends, and her dog, Jackpot. She loves running and teaches yoga and barre locally. Follow her at fitfamconshy on instagram and twitter.
********** This is our second article we have published written by Jennifer, it will show up as an article written by Brian Coll, but as you can see, it is clearly Jennifer McCracken and we are happy to publish her articles. There are some great tips here, enjoy and please offer feedback in the comment section on Facebook. We really like working with her and hope this is something we can continue to do. Enjoy:
The Importance of Exercising as Family
In our household, my husband and I will oftentimes take turns exercising- squeezing a run in or taking a yoga class (sometimes really early in the morning or late at night!). While this is important for our own well-being, we also spend time each day “exercising” with our one and a half year old. I decided to try exercising regularly when I saw a friend of mine had decided to give up smoking. When she was recommended by her doctor to look into life insurance comparison sites, it clicked that something as harmful as smoking was not worth living a short life for. What would her family do without her? She didn’t want to think about that. So, as a way of changing her lifestyle, she began exercising. So this is why I decided to give it a go too. It only plays a positive part in your life.
Trust me- this looks a lot different than doing a tempo workout on the trail (dancing and singing, jumping up and down, chasing him while he runs and laughs…). The benefits of exercising as a family exceed far beyond keeping you and your family out of the doctor’s office. In my own experience, I’ve seen students shy away from activities because they believe themselves to be “unathletic.” Exercise doesn’t have to be a competition, it’s a lifestyle that you can incorporate into your family routine, no matter how busy you are. Family obligations do not have to hinder fitness, but rather support it- as long as you can think beyond how much you can lift or how often you get to spin class!
Exercising as a family creates family bonds and traditions. My fondest memories are playing wiffle ball, soccer (using our swing set as a net!), and going on walks with my family after dinner. Note: I never played softball or soccer, it was the family time that I enjoyed the most. My sister-in-law and father-in-law would bike to Browns Donuts in OCNJ. Being fit does not always mean having the perfect body and sweating- it’s about having enough energy to get through your day in an effective and safe way.
Moreseo, studies have shown that children who exercise do better in school. If they see their parents having fun with them, kids pick up on the positive energy. They feel good about themselves and have a strong sense of self-worth. This makes them more resilient and able to handle challenges that come their way! Children (and adults!) who exercise learn how to reduce stress.
Consider what activities resonate with you so that your children can see you living and activity and healthy lifestyle with them! The age of your child(ren) will play a big role in what you choose, and most likely will evolve overtime. Here are some activities that you can do, as a family. While there can be a time and place for family competition, this article is not focused on that element. Check out fitfamconshy.com for more ideas!
1. Family Circuit Training (take turns at “stations”)- this can be done indoors or outdoors. It can be done during commercial breaks. Each family member can also pick a favorite exercise as part of the circuit. If walks became “boring,” this is a great way to spice it up.
2. Make it fun! Put different workouts on a beach ball. Toss, and whenever it is caught, the whole family does that workout. You could also make a card deck of exercises and pull cards. We did an Easter egg hunt this year with different workouts in each egg.
3. Take your kids to your classes! Family Yoga, Zumba, Spin; there are so many options today. Our local studios have many classes for you and your family.
4. Put children to work in the yard and garden with you- weeding, lifting supplies that are appropriate for their age, watering plants, etc. Take time to catch different color leaves, make snowmen, or jump through the sprinkler!
5. Make a family exercise video where the kids are the stars!
6. Learn a lawn game like cornhole, Kan Jam, bocce, or horseshoes.
7. Walk or run for a cause. Stay tuned- Conshohocken will be introducing some children’s racing events in 2019!