The two most common activities mothers and children do together are eating and watching TV. Then comes homework. Way down the list is going for a walk, bike ride or dancing together.
Here’s the breakdown for top three activities mothers and children do together: eating a meal (90 percent), watching television (79 percent), and doing homework (65 percent), according to new survey conducted by Woman’s Day and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a national non-profit founded by the American Heart Association and Clinton Foundation working to combat childhood obesity.
When it comes to exercise, only half of the 1,154 moms surveyed had gone out together for a walk, run, or bike ride with their kids (ages 5 to 18) in the last week and just 26 percent had played a sport, run around or danced together.
According to the survey, when mothers spend ten minutes or more doing something with their children, it is more likely to be sedentary or involve a screen than be physical.
“The survey results underline the increasingly sedentary lifestyle many of our kids are leading,” says Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation in a press release. “The good news is, there is opportunity to change this trend—and families can make small changes that make a big difference.”
Woman’s Day and the Alliance encourage families to #Commit2Ten and visit http://www.commit2ten.org/ to receive a personalized fitness profile, a 30-day activity calendar, resources and motivation to commit to 10 additional minutes of physical activity per day.
Woman’s Day Editor in Chief Susan Spencer offers the following tips for incorporating more exercise into the day:
— Walk with your kids to school. One of the magazine’s readers lost 90 pounds by walking the mile to school with her daughter daily instead of driving!
— Turn exercise into a game, like setting up an obstacle course in the backyard for younger kids or challenging older kids to see who can be the first to hit 10,00 steps a day.
— Make sure you’re setting a good example. If you’re grimacing through a workout dvd, it’s not going to encourage your children to join you. Do something that puts a smile on everyone’s face, like dancing around to music.
— Younger kids especially thrive on routines, so schedule exercise in daily like you would other regular activities. You could take a daily walk after dinner as a family or kick off each morning by doing yoga together. Knowing exactly when you’ll get active helps eliminate the “when will we fit this in?” question.
— Sign up for a group walk together. Whether a mile race or a 5K, kids will love the challenge of getting to the finish line together.