The British have a family tradition that is dying: the family walk. According to the Telegraph:
Instead, researchers from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Science at Loughborough University found that families are increasingly likely to convene for sedentary activities such as mealtimes and watching television.
A family walk is such a simple idea that can promote the health of every member. From the dog to grandma, going for a promenade in the neighborhood or park is wonderful way to spend quality time together.
Dr. Stacy Clemes of Loughborough University explains:
Lack of physical activity is widely documented across the world as a major risk factor for many chronic diseases.
Despite walking being described as an ideal form of exercise it is concerning to see families worldwide not using this cheap and effective form of exercise to promote their family’s health.
Walking is an inclusive activity, allowing families to share a common interest and spend quality time in the fresh air.
Daily hikes have always been part of my adult life, and I fondly remember taking family walks after large holiday meals as a child. Motley Health further explains the health and family bonding walking can promote:
Walking for as little as 1 mile, which should take only 20 minutes, will help you manage your weight. Walking 2 miles will work better though. Family walks can also help to bring families together. Walking is a time to talk too – just ensure nobody brings an iPod.
It’s not just the Brits that are walking less as a family. Globally, people walk 52% less than they did ten years ago, with the Portuguese being the least likely to walk.
I have to admit I often don’t take my children on my hikes, as I enjoy this alone time, but given this research, I think we will commit to a once a week family hike. If you are looking for a New Year’s resolution for 2010, a weekly family hike would be perfect (I’ve just made it mine).
Here’s what I’ve been doing for 21 years! It’s the best 🙂
Based on research by Neal Barnard, M.D., one of America’s leading health advocates, this TOTALLY FREE program is designed for anyone who wants to explore and experience the health benefits of a vegan diet.
Check out this informative and inspiring video on why people choose vegan: http://veganvideo.org/
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Carol Torgan, Ph.D. says
This is a really great idea and once a week is very reasonable. It can morph into a scavenger hunt, occas photo safari, or just some nice reflective time with friends and family. You also have perfect timing with this post given the new study that just came out on the link between TV time and risk of death ( http://bit.ly/6NmbJK). Time walking is time not spent in front of a TV! – Carol
Walking is a great way to exercise for all ages and it only take at most 1/2 hour a day. More people need to do it for their physyical and mental health.
Mary- Jane says
Being a mum with 2 young kids you are always struggling to find ways to get the kids out away from the TV and computer and out moving around. This was a new year’s resolution of mine last year and now one year on I can look back and say it’s honestly been a blessing for our family. The kids are happy and better adjusted. I have to say though that keeping them motivated has been a struggle but I found a product that has made it fun and challenging named Jym (http://www.jym.me). You can use it to workout and test your strength and the kids use it on our walks. It has become a huge competition between my sons and they don’t even realise they are exercising. In the end though it’s all worth the effort!
I try to walk whenever I can with my kids. This morning my wife took our eldest swimming so I took the chance to walk around the village with our baby (in pushchair). Lovely to get out walking, fresh air, see people, popped into antiques shops etc. Walking is healthy, and functional. Not many forms of exercise can serve a purpose.