It’s time to move those feet! In April, Farrell and South Riding Pediatrics are hosting a Step Challenge that offers fun challenges and prizes for ALL members of the family. Click here to participate.
First, you’ll need to purchase pedometers so you can track your progress, have fun adding to your step numbers, and celebrate your success! It doesn’t have to be a Fitbit or other high-tech option – an inexpensive clip-on is fine. If your family is just starting out with a walking goal, it’s a good idea to give your children interim goals (and celebrate those!) as you work your way up to a Super Stepper goal of 10,000 steps a day. Here are some fun ways to get in those steps:
- Take a Virtual Trip
How long would it take you to walk to Disney World, or New York City, or Fairbanks, Alaska? Use your pedometer to find out! Chart daily steps on a graph or map and aim for a lofty, distant goal. (To add some math learning to this activity, measure your child’s stride length so you know exactly how many steps he takes per mile, then convert the mileage to your destination into steps.) You might want to celebrate exciting milestones like reaching your 100,000th step, too!
- Check Special-Occasion Mileage
Be sure to have your kids clip on their pedometers on days when you know they’ll be doing a lot of walking: when you go hiking, visit a theme park or zoo, or even head to the mall for spring shopping. Don’t forget spring break – whether you’re doing a Staycation or heading to Universal Studios, make sure those pedometers are on and recording your day!
- Set up a Family Challenge
Turn step-tracking into a family game. With the MoveSpring app, you can compete against each other, your favorite pediatricians and nurses, and yourself! Or you can work together toward a common goal—whichever one is more motivating for your crew.
- Try to Win a Prize
The top three children or adolescent finishers will receive $50 towards their favorite athletic brand or store! Anyone who meets the Super Stepper goal of 300,000 steps will also win a prize. That’s just 10,000 steps per day. You can do it!
- Predict the Future
See if you can guess how long it will take you to go 1,000 steps, or how many steps it is from your front door to your favorite slide at the park, or whether walking, running, or some other activities earn you the most steps. Get creative!
- Go Orienteering
Parents will need to do some advance prep for this treasure hunt-style activity, but kids will love it. Plot out a course based on step count and landmarks, like this: “From the starting point, walk straight ahead about 150 steps. Then turn 90 degrees to the left and walk 40 steps … ” Award a simple prize (like a sticker) for completing the course.
- Act Like an Animal
Stomp like a dinosaur, sprint like a cheetah, leap like a frog, waddle like a penguin – who can get the most creative steps in imitating your favorite animals? Let family members call out animal names and watch your improv performances increase the steps on your pedometer.
- Play a Sport
Whether it’s a family game of flag football, soccer, volleyball, or basketball, some friendly competition gets everyone moving. Vary the activity each time to keep it interesting and add your own family flair to the activities by adding fun rules and options to keep it age-appropriate, so everyone can participate.
- Find a Geocache
Geocaching is another treasure hunt option, one that doesn’t require advance prep (except for downloading the free Geocaching app).
- Play Tag
Running around in a good game of chase will definitely earn your child a lot of steps. You could even set up a contest to see which kind of tag yields the most steps. Try making predictions beforehand and then comparing your results after the games.
Start your Spring off the right foot by making this commitment to fitness as a family. However you get your steps in, you’ll all reap the benefits of the physical activity and enjoy having worked together towards a common goal.
Special thanks to Catherine Holecko with VeryWellFamily blog.