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Make Physical Activity a Part of Your Family's Routine

Set Goals

Have your family establish goals that everyone can achieve together. In the first few weeks, you may not achieve every goal, but if you stick with it, physical activity will become a part of your family’s routine.

Set effective goals that are specific, achievable and forgiving. Rather than saying you will exercise more, set a goal like walking for 30 minutes a day, three times a week.

Issue a family challenge to see who can be the first to achieve a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) by committing to physical activity five days a week, for six weeks.

Download the Let’s Move Family Activities Guide for ideas to get started. Then, come up with your own.

Tip: Effective goals are specific, achievable and forgiving. "Exercise more" is a great idea, but "take a 30 minute walk" is more specific and easier to achieve.

Schedule Your Activity

The best way to begin increasing your family’s physical activity is to schedule time for it. Start by identifying at least three 30-minute time slots this week for activities like taking a walk, playing sports or doing active chores. Choose times of the day or week when everyone is most likely to stick to the schedule.

Download the Let’s Move Family Calendar.

Add it Up

Download the Let’s Move Family Calendar for an easy way to begin scheduling your activities. Once you’ve personalized the calendar for your family, post it on the refrigerator or in another location where the whole family can see it and track progress. Don’t forget to celebrate your achievements; every little bit counts.

Be Flexible

If a conflict comes up during physical activity time, reschedule instead of canceling. Find a new time for the activity to replace what you missed.

Share it

To keep the momentum going, share your new ideas, activities and tools with friends, neighbors and relatives. Invite them to join in and get moving too!

Ideas to Get Started

There are countless ways to enjoy physical activity together as a family. You can download the Let’s Move Family Activities Guide for more ideas like those listed here:

  • Play tag, swim, toss a ball, jump rope, hula-hoop, dance to music or even play a dancing video game. It doesn’t have to be sports—just get your family moving!
  • Walk the dog, go for a jog, go on a bike ride, take the stairs or head to the park and let kids run around for a while.
  • Celebrate special occasions—like birthdays or anniversaries—with something active, such as a hike, a volleyball or soccer game or playing Frisbee at the park.
  • Get the whole family involved in household chores like cleaning, vacuuming, and yard work.
  • Walk instead of drive whenever you can. If you have to drive, find a spot at the far end of the parking lot and walk to where you’re going.
  • Park farther away and count with your children the number of steps from the car to your destination. Write it down and see if you can park even farther away on your next stop.
  • Train as a family for a charity walk or run.

What is your family doing to stay active? Tell us on Facebook—your family’s story may be featured on the Let’s Move website.