Staying active has a lot of benefits. You feel better, look better and studies show that exercise can also help prevent cancer of the colon and rectum. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and it’s a great time to take a look at ways you can keep your family healthy.

Nearly 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year, and nearly 50,000 will die of the disease. However, multiple scientific studies have shown that exercisers cut their risk of colorectal cancer by 20 percent or more compared to those who don’t exercise.

Exercise makes changes in the digestive acids of your body, helping to protect your body from colon cancer. Staying active also decreases body fat, insulin and other cancer growth factors for colorectal cancer.

Here are some ideas from the National Institute of Health to help your family get more physical activity into their daily lives:

– Walk the kids to school.
– Get everyone involved in outdoor work, such as raking, weeding or planting the garden.
– Tie television time to exercise: have a sit-up competition with your kids.
– Have a family dance party.
– Take a family walk after dinner.
– Pace the sidelines at your children’s athletic games.
– Work together to wash the car by hand.
– Give your kids rewards that keep everyone active: a family day at the park, lake or zoo.
– Park as far as you can from the store and take stairs instead of escalators.
– Play together inside or outside, picking a physical activity that everyone likes.
– Go swimming as a family.
– Play Simon Says with the kids.
– Shovel snow together by hand.
– Explore new physical activities together as a family.

Exercising together as a family will help you make memories and stay healthy. The results are worth it and you might even have fun doing it.