Resolve to Get Fit as a Family

The first month of the new year is always bombarded with emails, commercials and articles about resolutions and getting fit. And of course, though many people start the New Year feeling passionate about making a lifestyle change, very few people manage to maintain those changes for very long.

There are more effective ways to approach the classic New Year's Resolution. One of the best ways is to involve your family.

MoreHealthy Kids: How to Get Children Excited About Fitness

Studies repeatedly show how much influence the people around us have on our lifestyles. If we're around people who make healthy life choices, we're more likely to make similar choices ourselves.

So if you and your family want to get fit this year, resolve to do it together. Not only will that make your chances of success greater, but it will also give you something to bond over.

Here are four easy steps you can take to get started.

  1. Take after-dinner walks. Making a walk part of your regular schedule means you're more likely to actually do it. Additionally, it can give you time to talk to each other without the distractions of TVs and computers (try leaving the cell phones at home).

  2. Have "play dates" with your kids. Whether it's a game of tag or just chasing leaves, get outside with your kids at least once a week to stay active. Kids get excited to do stuff with their parents. And excited kids move. A lot. And that will get you moving too.

  3. Turn commercial breaks into dance parties. You know what's better than watching commercials? Impromptu free-style dance contests. Get up and get weird. Create new dance moves. It's so fun, you and your kids may find yourselves looking forward to the commercials.

  4. Stop driving everywhere. Transform the five-minute drive to the store into a family outing. Go for a walk, use skateboards, ride bikes, or whatever else you like. Start making "going there" the best part of the activity, no matter where you're headed.

More: An Easy (and Fun!) CrossFit-Like Workout for Kids

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About the Author

Jason Sheridan, owner of Sheridan Fencing Academy in New York City, coaches the 2013 Junior World Championship silver medalist, along with many of the other top fencers in the US. He specializes in developing high-level youth athletes by emphasizing the fun—and eliminating the monotony—in exercise and training.

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