4 good reasons for your family to get active together

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This is a collaborative post.

We live in an extremely high-tech age, and judging by the growing popularity of virtual reality headsets, games, and other immersive digital tools and gadgets, things are only set to move more in that direction as time goes on.

One consequence of this is that an increasing number of families are spending “family time” together in front of one type of screen or another. In fact, it’s not uncommon for each member of the family – including young kids – to sit in their own rooms. Or at least their own corners of the living room, staring at tablets, laptops and smartphones instead of actually interacting with each other.

We know its bad, but we’ve all done it.

Balance is always important in life, and getting out into the world and engaging in physically active pastimes with your family is a great way of regaining a more immediate and tangible sense of connection.

So, whether you are interested in gathering supplies from Equi Supermarket and taking the kids horse riding, or going camping in a national park for a weekend, here are a few good reasons for your family to engage in physically active pastimes and get active together.

Trying to get out together can help people of all ages to get out of their own heads – which is often a very valuable thing these days!

There’s an interesting phenomenon that appears to be connected to social media use. Researchers have found that people who spend more time on social media platforms each day, are more likely to be anxious and depressed, as well as to feel worried that they are excluded, or are otherwise missing out on social activities.

There are many potential reasons for this, including, of course, the fact that social media is mostly based around people sharing the “highlight reel” of their own lives, while leaving out all the messy everyday stuff.

Ultimately, though, spending a lot of time on social media just keeps us locked in our own heads in a pretty big way – and a lot of the Internet itself, and the information we consume as a result of it, has the same effect.

It’s always been a good idea to have systems and activities that you can turn to in order to get out of your own head and to reconnect with the world around you in a more direct way. These days, however, it’s perhaps more important than it’s ever been before.

When you and your family get active together out of the house and engage in some physically active pastime — whether that’s playing soccer on the beach, or hiking through a forest — you are all taking a break from the world of the abstract, and are sharing some time together, in physical space.

Perhaps it’s no wonder, then, that physical activity is known to be one of the most effective treatments for conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Because a lot of virtues like persistence, determination, and self-discipline can be developed extremely well by doing physically challenging things

Boy in superhero pose and costume looking up at sky: get active together.

There are all sorts of ways to help your kids develop their persistence, determination, and self-discipline. You could reward them on a star chart for doing chores, for example. Or, you could help them to budget their allowance in order to get them used to the idea of deferring gratification today, in exchange of something better in the future.

Ultimately, though, doing physically challenging things is one of the best ways of developing those traits at any age, as overcoming the voice of internal resistance and pushing through when you feel tired or insecure naturally adjust your perspective and develops your willpower.

For kids, the benefits of doing physically challenging things may be even greater, as the lessons involved are much more immediate and straightforward than a somewhat abstract concept like saving money for later.

Of course, you shouldn’t be putting your kids through a gruelling boot camp experience. But, encouraging them to keep trying their best in a sport or outdoor activity, even when they are losing, for example, can be very beneficial in various ways.

Because physically active pastimes add a bit of excitement to life

Boy running in park: get active together.

Various physically active pastimes – particularly things like sports, or hikes to breathtaking natural settings – can really make life seem a lot more interesting, when all is said and done.

Most people want to have a certain degree of excitement in their lives, and they want to collect powerful and fun memories that will stay with him throughout the years. You’re not so likely to pick up very many of those memories by watching movies or playing video games. But you are likely to form those sorts of memories by interacting directly with the world around you.

Try to find activities that every member of the family can appreciate. Then, get away from your everyday routines and share some micro-adventures from time to time.

Because it’s important to learn, and remember what it’s like to actually be a do-er rather than a spectator

Get active together!

In 1938, a man named Jay B. Nash Wrote a book entitled “Spectatoritis,” where he complained that more and more people in society were becoming “spectators” of life, rather than participants in it.

Back when the book was written, many of the “spectator” elements of modern life didn’t exist, and the condition of “Spectatoritis” mostly referred to things like the dawn of professional sports and people spending a lot of their time reading magazines, or watching the works of early cinema.

Today, it’s safe to say that most of us “watch” a lot more than we actually “do,” in just about every area of our lives.

In order to really experience the full beauty and power of life, though, it’s important for everyone to actually get out there on a regular basis and be a “doer,” instead of just a “viewer.”

There are many breathtaking nature documentaries out there, for example. But the experience of actually being in a beautiful natural setting when you get active together with your family is a completely different thing.

By getting out and engaging in physically active pastimes with your family, you help to ensure that all of you actually spend a good amount of time living life, rather than just watching other people living.

If you need a little bit of help getting outside to get active together with the family – you have come to the right place – we’ve got loads more ideas for you:

Getting active with the kids

We've given you four good reasons to get active - so now - how can you do it?!?!

If these aren’t what you are after – what about beyond our site?

External ideas for outdoor play

We bet this will keep you very busy – do come back again and sign up so you don’t miss out next article too.

Take care.

Helen

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3 Comments

  • This is absolutely true.

    I and my husband spend so much time looking at screens, from tv to phones and less time actually talking and listening to the kids.
    We are guilty as charged. Lol.

    My first baby is just 2 years old and we started spending time with her at night, singing the alphabet song, learning numbers and names of items at home.

    However, can you recommend indoor and outdoor fun activities we can do with a 2 year old?

    • Hi there, November – Water play is a great one for toddlers – check out the post we have on this. And in addition anything that’s outdoors! We have a magical tracking stick activity, scavenger hunts, a bug hunt – the list is endless and perfect for young hands and inquisitive minds!

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