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There are many ways busy mums, dads and families can build physical activity into their lives. Being physically active is easier than you think, especially if you make activity part of your daily routine.

Fitness tips for busy mums and dads

  • Set a time for physical activity and stick to it. You’re more likely to find time to be active if you do it at the same time and on the same days each week.
  • Split activity up throughout the day – you can achieve your target in bouts of 10 minutes or more.
  • Walk your children to and from school. This will also help them develop a pattern of physical activity.
  • Be active with your child. Take them to the swimming pool, or play in the garden or park.
  • Join a child-friendly gym. Find a class or club that allows children in or offers childcare during a workout.
  • Set up a buggy group with other parents and go on long walks with the children.
  • Exercise during your lunch break. Your office may have a gym, or you may have access to a nearby swimming pool or squash courts.
  • Cycle or walk part, if not all, of your journey to work. Get off one bus or tube stop before your destination.

Fitness tips for families

  • Children don’t need to get their daily target of 60 active minutes all in one go – they can do them in chunks of 10 minutes throughout the day.
  • Try something new.
  • If parents are physically active, their children are likely to be active too, so lead by example.
  • Instead of watching TV, encourage your child to find fun activities to do on their own or with friends, such as playing chase or riding their bikes.
  • Let your children help decide what to do. Children are more likely to participate in something if they’re involved in picking it.
  • When it comes to playing, children should do what they enjoy most. Running around, having fun with other kids and burning off energy are great ways of getting some (or all) of their recommended 60 minutes of activity a day.
  • Walking is a fun and easy way for children to get active while spending time with you and their friends.
  • Have a disco in your lounge with your music. All you need are some great tunes and you and your children can have fun dancing anywhere.
  • Have a splash – whether they’re doing lengths of the pool or having a good splash about, children love playing in the water.
  • Cycling is a great alternative to the car or bus. You don’t even need to have somewhere to get to – just taking the children out for a bike ride is a fun activity.
  • Get them involved in fun chores. Although light tasks such as taking out the rubbish won’t raise your heart rate, some heavy gardening or washing the car will count towards your daily activity target.
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