Custom CSS of Section contains Conditional Preview for See Life Campaign Elements

Family Fitness

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Pablo Bernasconi
Find fitness solutions that seamlessly fit into everyday family life!

Picture this: families everywhere sitting down to three healthy meals each day while consistently making family fitness a priority. Now picture this: reality.

Few things have greater positive impact on a family’s physical health than establishing sustainable healthy eating and fitness habits. But in real life, preparing meals from fresh, nutritious ingredients often is more time-consuming (and frequently less kid-pleasing) than zipping into a drive-thru. Meanwhile, coaxing everyone away from distractions long enough to get active as a family can be a chore. If these challenges sound familiar, you’re not alone!

To help, we’ve examined some of the most common “healthy lifestyle hurdles” families encounter and discovered solutions that actually fit into everyday family life. Achieving a healthier lifestyle may be easier than you think — and absolutely worth the effort.


No. 1: We all enjoy different activities. Being active together is tough.

Real-life solution: “On track” fitness

I’ve discovered the best-kept secret for parents with active children: the local high school track. When the track in our town isn’t in use by the school, it’s open to the public. Often, my family has the track to ourselves. In the wide-open spaces, we are free to run, race and ride as much and as far as our legs will take us. My oldest boys, ages 8 and 11, love playing football in the field and racing around the track on scooters. I enjoy going for a jog while my 4-year-old rides beside me on his bike. All my kids have fun racing against each other — and against me!

Not all tracks are open to the public, so remember to ask your local high school first. The possibilities for staying active at the track are endless: kite flying, tag and relay races are just a few more ways we enjoy the unoccupied space.

—Sheri King

No. 2: Mission impossible: getting my kids to eat vegetables.

Real-life solution: Answer the question — “What’s in it for me? ”

Download: Rainbow foods placemat and coloring sheets

With the temptation of sugary and overly salty foods around every corner, one way I encourage my kids to eat healthier is by explaining how nutritious foods benefit their bodies. For example, when serving carrots, I say, “Eating carrots helps you to see better.” My little boys, in particular, are motivated to eat up when they hear, “Eat your oatmeal so you have energy to run even faster.” When my kids don’t want to finish their milk, it helps to remind them, “Milk builds strong bones and teeth.” Kids love knowing they are eating foods that help them become faster, stronger or better at the activities they enjoy.

Before I know it, the kids have gulped down their milk, gobbled up those carrots they didn’t want to eat and licked their bowls clean of oatmeal.

—Naomi Cassata

No. 3: With so many distractions — hello, technology du jour — keeping my tweens active is tricky!

Real-life solution: Healthy competition

Download: Family activity challenge

With the distractions of social media and technology, it’s challenging to get my kids off their phones and gaming systems and into physical activity. So when my oldest son suggested a family fitness competition, I quickly embraced the idea.

We launched a Family Activity Challenge for our family of six, using a spreadsheet to track everyone’s physical activity. We mark off one box for every five minutes of cardiovascular exercise such as running, walking, biking — anything that gets the heart rate up. For less strenuous activities such as shooting baskets or playing catch, we mark off one box for every 10 minutes of play. Whoever marks off the most boxes in three months is the winner. We award first-, second- and third-place prizes — all fitness related — such as $25 to spend at a local sporting goods store, a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee or new basketball socks.

Our friendly competition provides opportunities for my husband and me to introduce our kids to many different kinds of exercise, show them how staying active keeps them healthier and empower them to take ownership of their fitness. Our kids now invite us to play basketball or go for a bike ride instead of waiting for us to prod them to get outside and move.

—Marie Dittmer

No. 4: When our energy tanks are running low, our unfortunate default is to reach for sweets or caffeine to give us a quick boost.

Real-life solution: Power-ups

An afternoon energy lull was plaguing my home until I introduced “power-ups” — a concept modeled after the video games my kids sometimes play. When I see my kids dragging, I say, “Looks like you need to power up.” They then go to our posted list of power-up suggestions and select one or two healthy energy boosters. Power-ups come in three categories:

1. Power workouts

Sitting still for too long can make us feel sluggish, so taking a few minutes to run or jump gets our blood flowing again. The list of power workouts includes:

  • Do 10 jumping jacks.
  • Run around the outside of the house twice.
  • Do 10 sit-ups.
  • Lift the flour container 10 times.

2. Power snacks

For energy slumps between meals, eating a healthy snack can boost my kids’ energy back to working levels.

Download: Grocery Store Stoplight Game 

The power snack list includes:

  • Ten blueberries
  • Carrot sticks
  • A small bowl of yogurt
  • A handful of almonds

3. Power naps

Sometimes my kids are tired because they are . . . tired. Power naps are downtime suggestions for kids who don’t welcome traditional naps:

  • Lie down for 10 minutes, close your eyes and listen to soft music.
  • Read for 15 minutes.
  • Make a nest on the floor and listen to an episode of Adventures in Odyssey.

My kids love the idea of doing something that will increase their “power” or their ability to “win” the event of the day, whether that’s playing in a soccer game or getting homework done.

—Becky Tidberg

No. 5: Getting my kids to eat healthy foods at home is one thing. What they eat away from home is another.

Real-life solution: Make that “to go”

After we warily examined the school lunch menu, our lunch station was born. I cleared an area of our laundry room, bought large plastic containers and loaded them with lunch choices bought in bulk: prepackaged snacks in one bin and fresh fruit in another. When it’s time to pack lunches, my girls choose one item from each bin, one or more vegetables from the refrigerator (prepackaged snap peas, carrots, peppers, broccoli), one dip (tahini, hummus, homemade dressing), one protein (cheese, yogurt, nuts, homemade bars) and one starch (whole wheat sandwich, whole grain pretzels, flatbread). Each type of food is listed on a chart that the kids can check as they pack their meals. The girls love their lunches because they choose them.

—Julie Reece-DeMarco

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Emerson-Eggerich4-840w

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Read More About:

You May Also Like

Bed Time

How to Help Kids with Nightmares

Though you cannot entirely stop your child from having nightmares, there are some immediate responses and preventative measures you can take to help your child get a good night’s rest. 

Close-up of a small pile of red apples held in a woman's hand
Healthy Habits

Keeping Your Kids Healthy Year Round

Washing your hands early and often, along with these other practical tips, will help prevent the spread of illness, and will help keep your family healthy.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!