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Go Ask Mom

Duke Medicine: Spring into physical activity as a family

Posted April 1, 2013

West Point Mill at Eno River State Park.

Kids off for spring break and you don’t know what to do? Get the whole family moving!

Exercising as a family is a great way to spend quality time together, enjoy the warm weather and show your children that staying fit is an important priority at every age.

“We, as parents, need to be good role models, if we want our children to view physical activity as important,” said Azra Shaikh, MD, a physician in Apex at Duke Primary Care Peak Family Medicine. “Being active benefits the entire family, and creates a special bond you simply can’t achieve by watching TV together.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends kids engage in at least an hour of physical activity each day. The CDC recommends adults engage in at least five hours of exercise each week.

Yet, longer workdays and daily commutes, plus a trend toward more sedentary lifestyles means less adults are meeting those daily recommendations. It’s equally hard for kids as more schools cut physical education programs and daily recess.

“Get your kids to participate in physical activity by focusing on play, not exercise,” said Shaikh. “If there isn’t an element of fun to it, your kids won’t be interested.”

For ideas on how to get active this spring break and all year, read the full post at Duke Medicine, Go Ask Mom's sponsor, offers health information and tips every Tuesday.


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