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Your children drag in from a long day at school, drop their backpacks at the front door, and head for the kitchen. A few minutes later, they emerge with chips and soda.

Slowly they make their way into the living room, munching as they go. Then, with one swift click of the remote control, the television comes on and your children are in "The Spud Zone."

The United States is full of couch potato kids who are growing up to be physically inactive adults with health issues. Lifelong activities such as cycling, swimming, running and walking are great motivators for getting your spuds off the couch, into action and having fun.

These activities promote physical fitness in a non-threatening way. Plus, you can bike, swim, run and walk as a family. Make a day of it!

Here are a few more family fitness suggestions for your consideration:
  1. Take a hike in a nearby national park or woodland area.
    Increase the fun factor by making it a scavenger hunt hike.

    List 10 things for your children to find on the hike: an oak leaf, an acorn, a bird's feather, a dandelion and so forth. Allow the winner of the scavenger hunt (the one who finds the most items) to choose next week's family fitness activity. Then reward the whole family with some frozen yogurt on the way home.
  2. Have your own water Olympics.
    If you have access to a pool, plan a day of water fun. You can get great exercise by having water relay races and "biggest splash" contests. In between the competitions, have your kids do some aerobic moves underwater-knee raises, arm circles or sidekicks. The natural resistance of the water guarantees a great workout. See who can do the most laps. Teach the children different kinds of kicks.
  3. Learn something new or join a team.
    Have you always wanted to learn a certain sport or activity? Search your local community college newspapers or Web sites for classes the entire family would enjoy and then enroll in them.

    Local YMCAs are great family fitness centers, offering a wide variety of affordable classes for all skills and ages. In addition, you may also want to consider joining a community softball or volleyball team. This will promote teamwork and sportsmanship.
  4. Horse around
    Running to catch a football or playing tag can be great exercise. Join in a game of hopscotch. Jump rope together. Toss a Frisbee. You can work up a sweat while enjoying the great outdoors. You can even find ways to make walking fun.

    For instance, encourage your young daughter to push her dolls in a stroller as you walk together or have your son walk the dog. If your children are older, buy each an inexpensive mp3 player to use during your weekend workouts.
Let your kids see your positive attitude toward exercise. Remember: actions speak louder than words. As your children become more open and attracted to fitness, they'll spend less time on the couch and more time being active.

More importantly, they will develop lifelong exercise habits while having fun with Mom and Dad.

Source: The Successful Family
by Dr. Creflo A. Dollar and Taffi L. Dollar
Excerpt permission granted by Creflo Dollar Ministries

Author Biography

Creflo A. Dollar
Web site: World Changers Ministries
 
Creflo Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International (WCCI) in College Park, Georgia; World Changers Church-New York; and a host of fellowship churches throughout the United States and internationally. WCCI also has offices in Australia (serving the Asia-Pacific region), South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and the Ukraine.
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