Parents are THE strongest influences on a child’s physical activity habit. Whether playing catch, transporting to sport practice, or consistently messaging positive messages about activity engagement and offering encouragement, parents largely determine what activity is done, when it’s done and for how long—patterns that tend to follow across the life-span.

Hey, this is great news! With life hitting kids at warp speed these days, it’s comforting to know parents can be THE ones to influence/shape their attitudes, values and behavior about something!

So to help, Iron Footprint Fitness introduces an extension to optimize your family’s activity engagement – track your Family Footprint!

Just as your own Iron Footprint, chart your Family Footprint according FitBase, FitBests and FitBubbles. Here are some ideas to help you get started. Old-fashioned pen and paper is perfect for tracking. Display the chart where all family members can see it the most often.

Family FitBase – chart each member’s daily workout completion. Keep in mind that for kids, this means accumulating 60-minutes of moderate to vigorous activity. See how many consecutive days each member completes his/her routine.

Family FitBests – commit at least one day a week to trial an activity event to determine your family performance benchmarks. These can be strength (body weight exercises, e.g., total push-ups/sit-ups) skill (e.g., total made free throws), or cardio-related events (e.g., the time it takes to walk around the block). Take care to trial events that are developmentally appropriate for everyone!

Family FitBubble – chart all the different physical activities have you done together as a family (e.g., swimming, tennis, golf). Commit at least one day a month to trying something new. Don’t chart the collection of what each member has done separately, rather, what you have done as a unit.

These examples are just to get you started since once you begin you will find yourself, or the kids, coming up with more ideas. True to Iron Footprint, take time every month or so to celebrate your achievement. As time goes by invite other families to join the fun. Just think, approaching fitness from the Family Footprint perspective could help to improve the wellness of families across the globe…