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Lisa Bahar, MA, LMFT, LPCC | Article

Healthy Tip #74

1/3/2013
By Len Saunders

The importance of families exercising together

Any activity that creates an experience of active participation is an excellent way that can connect individuals to a whole. When it is family, it creates a stronger bond that lends to closeness and safety. When it is a healthy activity the possibility of bonding and feelings of closeness are long lasting. The goal is to not create an activity that has a tendency to not be competitive, judgmental or goal oriented, more fun, exciting and what sounds like an activity versus exercise. Ideally the activity activates the senses from smell (sea breeze, hiking trails), vision, etc. The more colorful the activity the better, since it engages the sensory aspect of our physical body.

Suggestions / creative ideas to get families to exercise together

Have all family members make a suggestion for the week and all family members get to chose what they want to do that week. Therefore, it is not just one family member or two that are making the suggestions, that all have a participation in what the activity is. Some for one, maybe walking the Regional Park, another may be to walk the Disneyland grounds, another might be to walk a coastal beach (which by the way has natural elements that rejuvenate the emotional and physical health), another would be to go to the gym – ahh…

Reasons why families are not exercising together as much in our modern day era

The culture and society is actually one of our greatest limiters, since outdoor activities are challenged with the tendency to engage in technology. Families are more in their “bubble” of social media and electronics, which defer off the experiences that could be active oriented.

- Lisa Bahar, MA, CCJP, LMFT, LPCC, Lisa Bahar Marriage and Family Therapy, Inc