Family Fitness in February

February is National Heart Month and we’re reminded that heart disease — the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States — can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle.  The American Heart Association recommends that kids and teens (ages 6-17) get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. While fitness should be a priority for all families, getting sufficient exercise can be a challenge for both kids and adults alike in cold weather months.  Follow the below advice to ensure your family is living heart-healthy in February and beyond.


Make Time

Research shows that active parents raise active children.  Incorporating more exercise into your own routine can be accomplished by scheduling regular family fitness time.  Book multiple 30 and 60 minute blocks of time every week for you and your children to be active together. This may require simplifying existing schedules and limiting other commitments.  But there’s nothing more valuable than quality time spent together, so why not spend it promoting your health?

6 Simple Steps for the Whole Family to be Heart Healthy


Get Moving

While cooler temps often mean more time indoors, you don’t need to spend that time being sedentary.  There are several ways to get the whole family moving without braving the elements, from in-home dance parties and workout videos to indoor pools and gymnasiums.  That said, cold temperatures don’t prohibit us from enjoying the great outdoors. With the appropriate cold-weather gear- a winter coat, hat, scarf and gloves- you can enjoy time at the park, on the bike trail, and taking walks through the neighborhood even when the temps are low.  

Daily Tips to Help Keep Your Family Active


Turn Chores into Family Fun

Chores teach children life skills, worth ethic, self-reliance and when done as a family, team work!  Chores can also be a good way to be active. Cleaning and tidying is great exercise, so tackle household tasks as a family and get heart-healthy while doing so.

Physical Activity Around the House


Limit Screen Time

Experts say that kids should spend no more than 1-2 hours a day in front of a TV, computer, smart phone or gaming device, but the average kid spends 8-11 hours in front of a screen.  Setting screen limits is crucial not only for your children’s mental health, but their physical health as well. Spending more time on family fitness means less time for your kids to be in front of devices, so get them off the couch and engage them in physical activities.

Limit Screen Time and Get Your Kids (and the Whole Family) Moving


Physical fitness is essential for good heart health, but it also helps us manage stress, maintain focus, control weight, build strong bones, sleep better and enjoy a higher quality of life.  Set your children up for success by making physical activity a priority for your whole family. Remember, you don’t have to do it all at once… building healthy habits can take time, so start with baby steps and celebrate your journey!