We went “Inside the Community” for Family Matters with Lisa Verkamp from the YMCA Tuesday. We often think of Valentine’s Day in the month of February, but this is also a good time to consider heart health. When it comes to exercise…about 60 minutes of movement, a day, is good for kids. It doesn’t matter how you move, as long as you are physically active. The idea is to move until you breathe hard or break a sweat and you will be doing great things for your body and physical health.
Lisa also shared four tips to work together as a family towards heart health. First up, is to make physical activity fun. Being physically active doesn’t have to be hard, complicated or scary. Even simple things like riding a bike, jumping rope, playing hopscotch, and running around the park are all types of physical activity. Any game where you are up and moving is a great way to stay physically active and make your heart, bones, and muscles strong.
Second tip is to be social. Physical activity is easier and more fun when it’s with someone else. So, go ahead and join your family or friends for an activity. The social aspect allows kids to engage with one another and can build more than just physical strength, but also improve teamwork and communication skills. The YMCA has group exercise classes for youth like kids yoga and born to move dance classes to help kids exercise and make new friends.
Next up is to stretch yourself. Make stretching part of your daily routine. Stretching helps improve balance, which in turn, enhances coordination and athletic performance. Most sports injuries can be prevented by maintaining flexibility. Something as simple as picking 2 to 3 of your favorite songs to play while you are stretching will help the minutes go by faster and make sure you are stretching long enough.
Finally, remember to mix it up. Don’t get stuck doing the same activity all the time. Try and incorporate a new exercise every few weeks to keep you motivated. Your body can actually get used to an exercise, so after a while your workout won’t have the same effects. Try a lot of different activities or sports to keep your body guessing and to improve your fitness. Also, you don’t have to have 60 minute sessions. As long as your daily physical activity adds up to at least 60 minutes, you are okay so you can do multiple shorter sessions if you want.
Every Tuesday, 44News This Morning also offers up a weekly family challenge. This week it is to choose a destination for a family vacation (i.e. Disney world, the beach, wherever you want to go). Figure out how many miles or steps it would take to get there from your home to the destination and challenge your family to collectively exercise the equivalent of those miles or steps together. Track each family member’s progress to your destination and if you make it together, you go there together! Join in on the fun, by using #WeeklyFamilyChallenge on social media. Share photos, tips and articles to help others out as well and don’t forget to give the YMCA a shoutout in your posts.
44News Morning Anchor Melissa Schroeder hosts “Family Matters” every Tuesday morning at 8:40.