Here are some ideas from Brian Williams, physiologist at Gottlieb Health and Fitness Center: Family walks, hikes and bike rides are great opportunities to share some quality time together while getting a leisurely workout. Best of all, they can be done anywhere and almost anytime, making it easy to establish an evening or weekend routine.
If the weather is bad, opt for a family swim at an area pool, ice skating at an ice rink or a basketball game at a recreation center. Host a low-fat potluck dinner. When you host the sports team dinner, neighborhood get-together or holiday party, ask everyone to bring a low fat, healthy dish. Thanks to many online offerings and healthy cooking magazines, there are plenty of recipes that look good, taste good and are good for you. Kids really work up a sweat playing, whether it is laser tag or soccer; adults can join in too to make it more fun for everyone. Zoos and museums are excellent places to walk.
Roller skating and ice skating offer terrific ways to get a good cardio workout. Institute a “Grill or Chill” night. Pick one day a week when you either grill dinner or serve a salad. Grilled fish and meats don’t require additional cooking oils and are better for you than fried, breaded or heavily sauced dishes. And salads are a great way to sample fresh seasonal produce while getting your quota of fruits and vegetables. Plan a family overnight campout or an all-day hike. Illinois has numerous forest preserve trails and state park camping grounds to experience nature and the great outdoors. Seasonal activities such as apple picking, pumpkin patch and cornfield maze visits as well as holiday tree farms and outdoor ice rinks make being outdoors timely and fun.