Whole family fitness leads to improved health and wellness for each individual. And there’s an unexpected bonus: a stronger family unit.

A father and two children riding bikes.

This October, during National Family Health Month, healthcare professionals, students, and physical fitness enthusiasts will work together to promote better health for families. Fitness, in particular, is one of the more popular topics in the world of healthcare. From a lead physician in a medical practice to a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree student enrolled in an online nursing program, health professionals know the importance of starting healthy habits at a young age.

One great way to encourage a lifetime of healthy activities is to stay fit as a family. You don’t need to be enrolled in or graduate from a nursing program to be aware of the benefits of keeping yourself and your family members healthy. These benefits include a lower risk of heart disease, weight control, and an increase in life expectancy. However, there are a number of other, less obvious benefits as well. Consider these additional perks of better health:

  • Build physical and emotional endurance.
  • Communicate in new and different ways.
  • Discover unknown athletic talents and show that physical activity can be fun.
  • Expand volunteer opportunities, like charity walks or runs.
  • Offer parents new ways to be role models and provide positive feedback.
  • Provide children with expanded material for school reports.
  • Raise general injury prevention awareness.
  • Reduce screen time (including TV, computers, gaming devices, and smartphones).
  • Show children what friendly, healthy competition looks like.
  • Take advantage of new ways to bond and create family memories.
  • Teach children to set goals and develop planning skills.

Family fitness resources are easy to find. Many parents start online, learning from the many agencies, organizations, and professionals who offer guidance and knowledge on the best ways to keep families healthy. They find tips on which activities might be worth trying, how to schedule a fitness regimen, and how the family can keep up the momentum once they have begun.

Healthcare professionals are another great family resource. Whether the topic is childhood obesity or the different nutritional needs of pediatric and adult patients, many online nursing degree programs include coursework on helping keep families healthy. This translates into helpful (and healthful) tips from the healthcare providers at school or at the pediatrician’s office. Additionally, a number of schools offer “family fitness nights” (often led by a school nurse with an MSN degree) as a way to bring people together while promoting good health.

October is a great month to start your own family fitness plan. With just a little commitment, you’ll strengthen your family—inside and out.

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