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Family Tips for Getting Fit

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) --Families hoping to improve their fitness and overall health in 2012 should spend less time in front of a TV or computer screen and more time being active together, according to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.

The group offers the following tips to help your family get moving and stay fit throughout the year:

  • Take a walk. Stroll together after a family meal or walk around the mall when it's cold or raining.
  • Choose an outing. Spend a weekend afternoon going to a pool, skating rink or basketball court.
  • Take breaks. Try to fit in 10 to 15 minutes of rigorous physical activity several times a day.
  • Team up. Have the family sign up for a group run, walk or car wash.
  • Limit TV. Select which shows kids will watch ahead of time and limit screen time to just those programs.
  • Join a club. Buy a family membership to a town recreation center, YMCA or health club.
  • Learn something new. Have family members take a lesson in an activity, such as martial arts, fencing or gymnastics.
  • Chores count. Working together around the house or in the yard is another way families can stay active.

The alliance added that parents should be role models for their children. That means they should strive to make healthier changes in their own lives as well as their children's routines.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information on exercise and physical fitness.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Alliance for a Healthier Generation, news release, December 2011

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