ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Family that Exercises Together

Updated on October 24, 2008

The Problem

With the percentage of overweight adults in America increasing from 47.4 in 1980 to 66% in 2004 exercise is becoming an increasingly important issue. According to the Center for Disease Control only 31% of adults engage in regular physical activity during their leisure time and 39.5% engage in no physical activity during their leisure time (regular or otherwise).

What is worse is that childhood obesity is at epidemic proportions. Children are spending more time playing with technology than they are in physical activity. According to the Atlantic Journal-Constitution 15 years olds spend only an average of 35 minutes a day in physical activity on weekends. From 1980 to 2004 the number of overweight children has risen 11% according to the Center for Disease Control.

The Solution

We all know that exercise is good for you. The Mayo Clinic lists seven benefits of exercise and I'm sure none of them will be a surprise.

  • Improves Mood
  • Combats Chronic Disease
  • Helps Manage Weight
  • Strengthens Heart and Lungs
  • Better Sleep
  • Puts Spark into Sex Life
  • Fun

Okay, the last one may be a surprise to some people. However, that's really my point. Exercise shouldn't be work. If we want our teenagers to continue their physical activity we need to remind them why they did it when they were young. It can be a lot of fun.

With the number and popularity of dance shows increasing parents have a perfect opportunity to encourage exercise in a way that will appeal to teens. The key is to get them off the couch and onto the dance floor.

When kids are younger it is easy to get them to dance. Just pop in a CD and my daughter will start to dance. She's not to particular about who's watching either. However, by the time they become teenagers they are much more concerned with how they look.

So here are a couple of considerations for you. Sign them up for a class at a dance studio. The Access Dance Network can help you locate one in your area. If cost is an issue consider the YMCA or your local school district.

The game Dance Dance Revolution is another possibility. The local arcade should have one available or, if public performances are to unnerving, you can purchase the game for your home. Also, there are versions of the game the plug directly into your television so you do not need to invest in an expensive gaming system (if you haven't already).

My family enjoys having competitions. Whenever we get together as an extended family we break out the game and see how everyone's skills have increased (or declined). The younger generation also gets to enjoy laughing at the older generation.

Another nice thing about this game is that there is almost no age restrictions. The two year olds may not be able to work the game pad but they enjoy dancing with the adults. Plus it adds an element of chance to the game when the two year olds occasionally want to dance right up to however is currently competing.

So the next time you have family night break out the dance shows and remember how much fun exercise can be.

Staying Motivated and Safe

The National Athletic Trainers' Association lists the following safety and motivational tips for dancing:

  • Start with a light warm-up
  • Start with a beginners' class
  • Ask the teacher about appropriate footwear
  • Start with practice clothes not elaborate dresses or tails
  • Take Pilates or yoga to prepare your muscles
  • Build strength in your lower extremities before moving to heels
  • Practice - stick with a class over time
  • Stay hydrated and if the class lasts more than two hours eat nutrient-dense foods like almonds or raisins in small amounts
  • Remember anyone can do it
  • Dancing will give you a better sense of well-being
  • Share a good time with an old friend or make a new friend through the class

The Mayo Clinic lists the following tips for staying motivated while exercising:

  • Set goals
  • Start slowly
  • Think variety
  • Have fun
  • Make physical activity part of your daily routine
  • Put it on paper
  • Seek support
  • Track your progress
  • Reward yourself
  • Be flexible

Or you can track your progress via the President's Challenge. Dancing is one of the acceptable activities.

Remember the family that plays have fun!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Joy M profile imageAUTHOR

      Joy M 

      6 years ago from Sumner, Washington

      The girls love walking with us. I'm looking forward to they day when they both have enough stamina to start hiking with us.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      This can start with morning walks around the block. My wife and I including our 1 year old daughter take quick strolls around the block. This becomes more than just exercise but a bonding time with the family.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)