New year, new healthy habits
After spending December navigating a whirlwind social calendar, exercise may have fallen to the bottom of your never-ending to-do list. The New Year is often seen as an opportunity to hit reset, but that can be easier said than done.
Enter: Lauren Kennedy of Flock Fitness, a local fitness company that specializes in providing workouts and a supportive community to Central Florida women. Laura shared six simple ways to encourage your family to make exercise a lasting (and fun!) habit in 2024:
1. Set an Intention
Whether it’s to get outside more often or work up a daily sweat, Lauren recommends saying your goal out loud to your family. “That way, you make it known it’s going to be happening,” she says. It’s also crucial to communicate to everyone that working out doesn’t have to feel like a chore — it can be fun! Have a conversation so everyone can share ideas, from going to the
park on Mondays to taking a family bike ride on Fridays.
2. Pick a Time (and Stick With It!)
The easiest way to make sure a task is completed? Make it part of your daily routine. Exercise is no different. “It’s important to set aside that time and set the intention of what you all plan to do together,” explains Lauren. Whether it’s a standing after-dinner walk or a mid-afternoon swim, plan something that everyone can look forward to at the same time every day. “While every schedule is different, aim for 30 minutes every day,” she continues.
3. Lead by Example
To encourage your children to move more, show them how enjoyable it is. As you know, kids follow their parents’ lead, so have them observe what you like to do for exercise. “If kids are seeing their parents having fun and wanting to be strong, they’re going to want it for themselves as well,” says Lauren. She sees this firsthand because Flock Fitness welcomes children to their classes. While little ones may stay in their strollers or play on a blanket, older kids often join in to show how they can do
4. Be Realistic
To make working out a part of your family’s new normal, it’s key to be flexible. “Kids are always bringing some kind of surprise. Things aren’t always going to go as planned,” explains Lauren. “So if your schedule is getting crazy, maybe cut back to two or three times a week and eventually work your way up to that
5. Make It a Game
Hide-and-seek, obstacle courses, family competitions — these are just a few ideas for incorporating more movement into your days. “It can be anything that gets everyone moving, even a Taylor Swift dance party,” says Lauren. Turning on music and letting loose is a perfect solution for those days when it seems unlikely you’ll get out of the house. “Even a 10-minute dance break will get things going. Or if you’re out of ideas, try GoNoodle,” she says. The YouTube channel has guided dances and other activity-based games, making it a good fallback plan for when you can’t do a more structured workout together.
6. Be Mindful
Pause and check in with yourself too. “You always hear the phrase, ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup,’” says Lauren. So go ahead: Drink the water. Get the rest. Go outside. Journal. “You need to give yourself what you need so you can give everything that you can to your family.”
Find out more about Flock Fitness by visiting flockfitness.org.