Making Exercise a Family Affair

Words by Tracey C. Velt

When my son, Jake (21), was small, he would ride his bike alongside me during my runs, often veering off into the park and forcing me to chase after him. As he got older, he started running along with my husband and me (complaining all the way!). Running wasn’t his thing but the idea that exercise should be a daily to-do stuck with him. He played a variety of sports throughout high school and is now a football collegiate athlete. My daughter, Sofia (11), runs with me every once in a while. However, volleyball and tennis are her sports of choice, and both keep her busy five days a week. She tells me she loves the way she feels after a workout or practice—strong and healthy.

We are a sports family. We love watching sports (Florida State and UCF!), participating in sports (tennis and running), and encouraging our children as they learn and grow through the sports they play.

However, you don’t have to be a sports family to raise healthy kids. Family walks, bike rides and fun at the park all qualify as exercise. Of course, being healthy mentally and physically requires more than just exercise. So, think good food choices, appropriate portions and limited screen time.

Raising a healthy, happy family can be difficult in an age where the pressure and expectations placed on our children are high. It’s our job as parents to find the balance.

Cheers to a wonderful 2017!

From the January/February 2017 issue of PLAYGROUND Magazine. Read it here.

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