When it comes to Americans being active, the statistics are shocking. According to The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, 80.2 million people, ages six and older, are physically inactive. Parents sit at desks all day and kids today engage in less active play than they used to. This lack of family fitness is not something to take lightly. Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative has gone as far as saying, “Sitting is the new smoking.”

One way to tackle this problem is by getting the whole family involved in fitness.

Here are 5 reasons to make family fitness a priority

  1. You’re being a positive role model. When you make fitness a priority, kids notice. When approaching fitness with your children, keep it fun, upbeat and exciting. If you’re excited about family fitness opportunities, it’ll rub off on them too.
  2. You’re giving the gift of good habits. According to Psychology Today’s, Health Habits Develop Early and Are Hard to Change the earlier you can establish good habits the better. Habits are hard to break so taking the time to establish daily activity and exercise habits now for your children is a gift that can improve the quality of their lives for years to come.
  3. Quality family time. So much of our daily family time gets clogged up with distractions. Family fitness time is a time when all of the screens go away and a family can connect with each other. Whether it’s a game of flag football, taking a walk through the park, or participating in a family friendly exercise class, being active as a family is an amazing way to strengthen bonds.
  4. You are teaching teamwork. As a family, find opportunities to sweat together as a team. You could take turns rowing a boat, participate in a relay race or play a team sport. Working together and supporting one another in a team activity is a fantastic way to show kids that when you team up and depend on each other, you can achieve great things.
  5. The power of achieving goals. Beyond the physical benefits of family fitness is the self-esteem earned through setting and achieving goals. Whether the goal is to “find fitness time” as a family three times a week or to cross the finish line of a 5K together, nothing is as empowering as achieving a goal you set.