Parents Perspective

Is Your Family Getting Enough Exercise?

A recent Fitbit survey shows parents are getting in exercise in surprising ways.

family walking dog in woods Shutterstock
If you're like me, you're finding it more difficult to fit workouts into your packed schedule as the holidays approach. But don't feel too guilty: A recent Fitbit survey suggests that you may be doing better than you realize. The poll found that many parents were contributing to their overall health by walking their kids to and from school or doing chores around the house. (Sure, cleaning up the kitchen after dinner is no fun, but at least you're doing something good for your body while you're at it!)

While people who use fitness trackers are likely paying more attention to their exercise habits than the average person, chances are still good that you're doing more than you give yourself credit for, even if you aren't counting all those steps.

Still feeling like you could use more activity? Try involving your children. The Fitbit survey found that 36 percent of parents exercise with their kids at least once a week. That doesn't mean you have to sign up for fitness classes—the majority listed family walks as their primary form of exercise. Other options included riding bikes, gardening, or running around on the playground. Plus, when you're bonding as a family, it will be a lot more enjoyable than spending time on the dreaded treadmill—and you'll be more likely to do it again.

Personally, I use an exercise tracker and I love seeing all those steps add up. I tend to get a lot of exercise during the week, but I'm usually less active on Sundays. So when I look and see that I'm still a few thousand steps away from my daily goal, I'm motivated to extend my dog's walk for a few extra minutes. But I also know plenty of fit people who don't like worrying about yet another gadget. That's okay—just be sure to find another way to motivate yourself each day.

What's your favorite way to get moving with your kids?

Chrisanne Grise is Assistant Health Editor for Parents. According to her exercise tracker, she's walked the equivalent of 36 percent of the moon's circumference this year. Follow her on Twitter: @xanne.