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Into Fitness - Dont sit back and watch; become a fit family

Active living, healthy eating,stress management, qualityfamily time. All are importantfactors to a healthy lifestyle. So,why not do all four together? Many people complain of a lack oftime or family obligations as a reasonfor being inactive.

Active living, healthy eating,stress management, qualityfamily time. All are importantfactors to a healthy lifestyle. So,why not do all four together?

Many people complain of a lack oftime or family obligations as a reasonfor being inactive. But, that's noexcuse. Ever heard the saying "thefamily that plays together, staystogether"? I think it's great advice.And many people are inactivebecause they don't like exercisingalone or don't find exercise fun. Doyou see where I'm going with this? Ifwe can take pleasure in physicalactivities with loved ones, we're morelikely to have fun and stick with itover the long haul.

There is no end to the list of greatactivities that you and your family canenjoy together. And with summer onour doorstep, the outlook is evenbrighter! Even the dog can get involvedin family activities.

Walking is a great choice for peopleof all ages and abilities. Walk aroundthe block, walk to the pool or park (foreven more fun), or head out to the lakeand hit a nature trail. If your childrenare young, take the stroller or invest ina "child-carrier" backpack. Pack ahealthy snack and have a picnic whileyou enjoy the great outdoors!

Another great way to get someexercise (and teach your children thevalue of volunteer work and animalwelfare) is to sign up as a dog walkerwith the SPCA. Not only will you begetting some fresh air and burningthose extra calories; you'll be helpingto socialize and provide enrichmentto a shelter dog.

Swimming is an effective workoutfor the entire body, and the entirefamily. And when you're tired of thewater, building sand castles or playingbeach volleyball are fun ways toget the family laughing together! Or ifyou prefer to be on the water insteadof in it try canoeing or kayaking for agreat upper body workout. Don't forgetthe lifejackets!

Take up gardening. Starting plantsfrom seeds then transplanting theminto the garden and watching themgrow can be a rewarding experiencefor young green thumbs. Not to mention,gardening has great benefits foryour heart and muscles. And did Imention gardening burns an averageof 300 calories per hour!

Need more ideas? Grab the helmetsand go for a bike ride or tryinline skating. But don't be surprisedif the kids have better balance thanyou! The park is a fun and fit opportunitywaiting to happen. Toss thefootball or Frisbee or head to theplaygrounds. Don't sit back andwatch, get in on the action! A fewtimes up and down the slide or swingingfrom the high bars is good foryou, whether you're 7 or 70! Father'sDay is just around the corner. A gameof golf with dad perhaps?

Don't want to leave the yard? Noproblem. Set up the badminton net,grab a basketball and play some 21with your kids, run in the sprinklerwith the kids, or play a game of croquet.

There you have it: tons of ideas tobe a fit and fun family. Summer ishere and it won't last! Get outsideand get moving. Your body (and family)will thank you for it!

Becky Cryne is a BCRPA certifiedPersonal Trainer and Group FitnessInstructor, STOTT Pilates Mat andReformer Instructor, CFP Pre andPost Natal Fitness Specialist, andETW Yoga Exercise Specialist. Shecan be reached at cryne@telus.net