I'm an active person, but when I looked at the thermometer this morning and saw it was only 35 degrees outside, I suddenly lost the urge to take my dog for a walk. And I know I'm not the only one who'd rather skip the exercise and hole up indoors as the weather gets colder. Unfortunately, a vast majority of us weren't getting enough to begin with—more than 80 percent of adults in the country don't get the recommended amount of exercise each week, and only one out of three children is physically active each day, research suggests. Those are some scary numbers.
That's why I'm a fan of #Commit2Ten, a social media campaign from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation). Participants pledge to add just ten more minutes of physical activity to their daily routine. It might not seem like much, but even a small amount can help improve your physical and mental health, boost your energy, and help you sleep better at night. Plus, by starting small, you're less likely to feel overwhelmed and give up on your goal.
Not sure where to start? Try to make it a game for your kids, so they'll see it as a fun activity rather than something unpleasant. Break out a couple jump ropes or crank up your child's favorite song for a dance party. The more you all enjoy the experience, the more likely you will be to do it again. For more ideas, check out Commit2ten.org, where you'll receive suggestions of 10-minute activities for your family, a personalized fitness profile, motivational materials, and more. And don't forget to share photos and updates with the hashtag #Commit2Ten to show off your family's hard work!
Chrisanne Grise is the assistant health editor at Parents. She's also the proud "mom" of a corgi who loves long walks in the cold. Follow her on Twitter @xanne.