Your friend meets you for dinner after a long day. After one look at his fitness wearable, his face falls.
“I skipped my run today,” he mutters. “My workouts just feel like another chore.”
As he picks at his entree, you propose an after-dinner stroll. After all, the weather is so nice that it’s practically poetic. Your friend gives a halfhearted shrug. You ask him whether he is still helping his younger siblings train for an upcoming jump rope competition.
“I should get back to that. But I still won’t meet my activity quota before tomorrow.”
And the miasma of awkward silence descends, enveloping both of you and your meals.
Your friend doesn’t realize that movement may not always look like his standard workout. It is possible to try something new, creative, and perhaps unexpected—by yourself or with others—in order to get more physical activity. On the other hand, some of these health-promoting activities may already be part of a daily routine. Gardening, dog walking, stretching, and playing catch are a few examples.
A publication from the UF/IFAS Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, “Physical Activity for Families,” is packed with information that could help your friend. The article discusses various kinds and intensity levels of physical activity, and offers recommendations for different stages of life. It suggests enjoyable family activities, such as hiking, playing tag, freeze tag, or hide-and-seek, riding bicycles, and trying a new sport, among many others. The publication also emphasizes the benefits of participating in physical activities as a family: better communication, more quality time together, improved physical and mental health, and weight management.