Recently I did an interview and was asked about what families can do in the summer months to stay healthy. It’s important to have a strong foundation when building healthy habits. For some, it can be difficult to develop this foundation when you do not have the income or resources. For others it can be overwhelming because there is a plethora of information on the subject of maintaining health. This can make the pursuit to get your children excited about having healthier habits feel like an arduous task. Well, I want to reintroduce you to an activity that we widely take for granted but is so effective and perfect for taking the first step to living healthier lives: WALKING. I know you’re thinking to yourself, “Walking, really? I do that every day. I don’t feel any healthier.”
Here are some tips and reasons why you should get started walking today:
- Walking is Easy! For many of us it is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. So, set the family up for success by setting realistic goals. Take a 30 minute brisk walk everyday. Start by taking a walk around the neighborhood shortly after dinner. This will boost your metabolism, improve your blood circulation and maintain blood sugar levels. This is also a good time to bond and catch up with each other. Before you know it, it will be time to head home and get ready for bed. An added benefit to an evening walk, is restful sleep.
- Stretch. Yes, it is important to stretch even before you go out for something as simple as a walk. Stretching decreases your risk of injury, improves your blood circulation and will improve performance. Also, we want our kids to get into the habit of stretching so that when they engage in more physically demanding active play they will be prepared. Once again, we are building healthy habits.
- If you or the kids feel the desire to jog or run, GO FOR IT! You’d be amazed at the urges and signals your body gives you as you become more in tune with the muscles and joints that have been ignored. Like I said, walking is the first step in living a healthier life. Trust your body and its signals as long as it is a positive move towards being healthy and strong.
Of course with this physical activity, it can be done alone or as a family year round. If your ultimate goal is to lose weight, for the time being push that out of your mind and focus on being healthy and strong. That simple change in mindset can make a world of difference for you and your children. I began taking walks with my son, Benjamin, soon after he became steady on his feet. Now, at 4 years old, he often takes me by the hand and asks that we go for a walk. Whether it is just the two of us or our entire family, it is an activity of bonding and discovery.
What are you walking stories? Please share in the comment section below, on our Facebook wall or send us a Tweet.
Post written by: Joseph R. Vivens, author/creator of Chunky and Friends. He currently lives in Maryland with his wife and two children.