Get active together for a healthy, confident, and connected family

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Exercise should be something you enjoy!

Physical activity has never been more vital than it is today.

While there are many opinions regarding what activity is best for specific goals, experts all agree on one thing—daily movement is crucial.

But with a busy schedule, how are you supposed to fit exercise into your routine? Here are a few ways to incorporate some more action in your day:

Ditch your conventional idea of exercise.

“Exercise” doesn’t have to mean squats, lunges, and crunches. We engage in plenty of movements every day that build strength and endurance without realizing it. For example:

  • You may not know it, but picking up your kids throughout the day engages your biceps and can craft some seriously toned arms. Make a game out of picking them up as many times as possible!
  • Don’t feel like going for a run? Play tag with the kids for 30 minutes! You’ll relive your youth, and benefit from the daily recommended amount of heart rate elevation.
  • Miss playing high school sports? Join an adult league after work, or meet up with pals to shoot hoops at the local park. Every bit counts!

“Exercise shouldn’t be something you dread. It should be fun,” says Shane Ballard, the Grand Traverse Bay YMCA wellness director.

At the YMCA, the wide range of offerings ensures that everybody, no matter what their interest, can find something they like to stay active.

Get the kids involved.

Establishing a consistent pattern of physical activity helps solidify the importance of movement for your kids.

Something as simple as a 20-minute family walk each day creates a habit of movement, especially in kids under the age of five, which is when 90 percent of brain development occurs for children.

Physical activity also helps children develop fine and gross motor skills as they learn how to control their movements. And for older kids, physical activity helps to keep them strong and allows them to release their energy healthily.

Set an example for your children.

What’s important to mom and dad is important to a child.

If a child sees dad doing the dishes, they associate doing the dishes as an important chore. Similarly, if a child sees mom taking her health and fitness seriously, the child will then value those same activities and priorities.

Create a routine and set an example for your family.

Reduce social isolation.

An unintended, but much needed, consequence of getting active with others or with an organization like the YMCA is building communication skills.

Whether it’s kids learning to put down their electronic devices and interact with their peers, adults heading to the soccer field to blow off stress, or seniors heading in for their regularly scheduled fitness class—getting active with others is good for the mind, body, and spirit!

Have trouble figuring out a family routine or understanding what activities are available for your family?

Look no further than the YMCA staff to help you sketch out a plan that works for your schedule and your needs. Learn more at