With summer approaching, there are a lot of opportunities to get your family moving and encourage healthy habits for your tweens! Body image concerns can grow quickly in middle school, and it's helpful for the whole family to adopt an attitude of living a healthy lifestyle rather than stressing size, weight or other aspects of physical appearance that can be a source of shame for adolescents.
While it can be difficult to get some tweens moving, there are some great opportunities to offer fun for the whole family as a little encouragement.
- This Sunday, May 20th, Viva Streets Austin is closing down two miles of Sixth Street to encourage families to walk, run, bike, skateboard and play on a car-free road filled with music, vendors, and all-ages activities. They'll have water activities, hula hoops, bike skills courses and more! Best of all, it's a free event, open to the public and great for kids of all ages as well as their (leashed) furry friends!
- Body Business is offering free teen gym memberships for high schoolers this summer, as a way to encourage fitness and teach basic skills in the gym. Their are some restrictions due to location, and teens must complete an intro session to be eligible.
The most effective way to get tweens and teens moving is to make daily activity a part of the whole family's routine. Things like family walks with the dog, after dinner backyard play time and quick games of basketball, hula hooping or jump rope can all be quick and fun ways to get everyone moving. Just remember to keep the focus on wellness and healthy choices for all, and not on weight and appearance. The goal is a lifelong love of healthy living, not a preoccupation with looking a certain way or fitting into a certain pair of jeans. And remember to lead by example! Keep your self-criticisms about your body to a minimum, and practice what you preach by getting off the scale and hitting the ground running every day!