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Black Family

Source: @alyssasieb /

Let’s declare 2024 a year of better health. We can collectively agree to leave self-neglect and burnout behind and instead, turn our attention to living our best lives. And let’s not do it alone this time. Our loved ones, the people we consider family, can join us. Many activities are more enjoyable when done together.

The past year has been one of the most trying for me as a parent and one of the busiest overall. My goal is to slow down and refocus. Physical activity and extensive time outdoors with my daughters is a priority. Nothing compares to sunlight, fresh air, and exercise.

Ideas for family activities in NC

1. If your family isn’t accustomed to being active, start small. Commit to taking a daily walk through your neighborhood after dinner. It’s low intensity and keeps you close to home

2. Just Dance is a great option to get the family moving in a fun way. You can purchase the game or choose the free option and pull it up on Youtube. Kids and teens are more likely to get involved if an element of fun is there.

3. Take younger kids to the park to run wild, ride their scooters, and play games like ring toss. The trick is to play and walk with them instead of sitting and watching. A sure way to move your body and get your heart rate up!

4. Swimming is easy on the joints and has amazing overall health benefits. You can go at your own pace, join classes, or even take lessons if need be. Try community pools and the YMCA, which has memberships at varying income levels.

5. Are sports important to your family? If so, play catch, tag, volleyball, kick ball, shoot hoops, soccer, and even hide and seek or hopscotch in the yard. Make this time mandatory for your family even if it’s only 30 minutes per day.

6. Include your pets! They need exercise, too, and this is a perfect reason to get everyone outside regularly. Take your pet for a walk or play fetch. It’s movement and that’s what’s important.

7. Make small changes throughout the day to take more steps if possible. For instance, park farther away, use the stairs instead of the elevator, take the long way to walk to your destination instead of shortcuts. Standing and stretching at your desk after prolonged sitting is an additional means to move around and also improve flexibility.