Tips for Taking a Family WalkPosted: June 6, 2010 in Getting Active by Craig Primack MD FACP
Walking has been called the perfect exercise, mainly because it’s something that just about anyone can do with little or no training or financial investment. It’s a simple way to get yourself in shape. But walking can also be a great way to help your entire family become more physically active and, if neeeded, lose weight. Regular walks with the family can improve everyone’s health while allowing you to spend more time together. Follow these tips to enhance the walking experience for everyone in the family.
3 Tips for Taking a Family Walk
- Play “I Spy.” This is a great way to get everyone in the family connected and keep kids interested for the duration of your workout. Make a list of objects to look out for while walking, such as a red mailbox, a blue car, or specific type of plant. You may want to consider where you’ll be walking when making the list. Give the list to each member of the family and see who can “spy” the most things on the list during your walk.
- Designate “Quiet Time.” Walking can help you focus your mind, gain clarity, and generate new ideas. But getting quiet time on a walk with kids can be a challenge. To help, set aside a specific amount of time as “quiet time.” Ask a question of the day and set a timer, and tell everyone they have to wait until the end of Quiet Time to answer. This is a great way to teach your kids how to practice quiet thinking.
- Give everyone a pedometer. These are inexpensive gadgets used to count the steps you take. Giving one to everyone in the family may encourage a little friendly competition and have your kids looking for excuses to be more active. It can also help you set goals for each walk. For example, you may all decide that you’ll keep walking until you’ve taken 2,000 steps, which is generally equivalent to a mile.
Remember, experts agree that you need to move at a moderate pace for at least 20 minutes to get the most benefit from walking. Using these tips on family walks can make it easier for you to walk quickly enough and for long enough to get the exercise you need.