Staying active as a family

Family walking in park Finding ways of staying fit and active as a family is a great way to make sure you all reap the benefits of a heart healthy lifestyle.

How active do I need to be?

Children and young people should aim to participate in 60 minutes of physical activity every day such as walking, dancing, swimming, cycling, active play or other sports.

You don't need to do the full hour of exercise all at once – split it over the course of the day if you need to. You can find out more on our Children and Young People section, our website especially for children.

Adults should aim for at least 150 minutes physical activity each week. Try to be active every day, and remember – every ten minutes counts, so you can break this down into manageable chunks of time.

How can we be active as a family?

  • Walk to and from school together.
  • Ask children what activities they enjoy. Encourage them to follow their interests, and make activity fun – make a kite and fly it together, teach them to run, skip or use a hula hoop.
  • Play active games with your child both indoors and out. For example, chasing, hide and seek, hopscotch and skipping.
  • Find time to spend together doing a fun activity: a trip to the park, the swimming pool or a family bike ride.
  • You can also sign up to one of our events, such as a run or a swim, and take on a challenge as a family.

The type of activity that helps your heart most is called moderate intensity aerobic activity. Aerobic activity is a repetitive rhythmic exercise involving large muscle groups such as your legs, shoulders and arms.

Moderate intensity aerobic activities make you feel warmer, breathe harder and make your heart beat faster than usual. But you should still be able to have a conversation.

Doing regular activity together as a family can help your children develop a positive attitude towards physical activity. Children learn by watching what parents do so show your child you enjoy and value activity by taking part yourself – and you’ll all feel the benefits in the long term.