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(StatePoint) Healthy eating habits and gym routines can be hard to keep up after the excitement of the holidays fizzle. For parents who juggle busy schedules, it can be particularly challenging to squeeze in the recommended amount of physical activity each day.
However, with a little motivation and a dose of creativity, families can resolve to stay active and get fit together -- without stepping foot into the gym. Here are seven ideas to consider:
1. Explore the neighborhood. Take the children on regular strolls around the block. Create your own nature walks by identifying different insects, leaves and animals along the way. Collect pinecones, acorns or other foliage that can be used for fun crafts back at the house.
2. Take advantage of local parks. Visit a local park to discover different walking paths or bike trails. And spend some time on the playground while you're at it! Equipment, such as monkey bars, climbing walls and balance beams are all fun ways to get moving.
3. Invest in gear without breaking the bank. Athletic clothes and accessories with the latest performance fabrics enhance comfort and safety while working out. What's more, new gear can be a great way for each family member to show his or her sense of style, which can be just the motivation needed to get moving.
Footwear is especially important to replace often, as worn out athletic shoes can increase risk of injury. To go easy on the wallet, consider shopping at retailers like Rack Room Shoes, which offers everyday value on brands for the entire family. For more information, visit RackRoomShoes.com.
4. Schedule dance parties. Enjoy music and shake off some stress by scheduling regular dance parties after school, during commercial breaks or before bedtime.
5. Make a game out of chores. Make the most of family chores. Shoveling snow, raking leaves and mowing the grass don't just enhance your home's curb appeal; they are all great forms of exercise!
6. Get in a routine. A routine ensures consistency. Set aside time each week for bike rides, tag football and soccer games, all of which can all be done in the neighborhood, backyard or at a favorite park. In bad weather, head to a local trampoline park, climbing gym or indoor soccer field.
7. Make a Matrix. Planning fun activities increases the chance you will keep up the good work. For those who love to check items off a list, a color-coded spreadsheet can be a fun visual reminder to test out new activities. Hang this in a common area, such as the kitchen, to keep track.