Making time to work out can be tough, especially with a busy family life and crazy work and school schedules. It can be difficult to make time for even a quick workout at the gym, especially with younger kiddos. Enter: family fitness! While making time away from the kids may not be an easy option, there are quite a few ways to blend fitness with quality family time that is beneficial to all on many levels.
The first step in getting the entire family involved relies on both education and inspiration. Kids need to understand why it’s healthy and important to be active! But they also need to be inspired to do so. It’s a simple fact: kids respond best to things that are FUN. If they are excited about being active, they will take off with this idea. If they are old enough, try to use healthy role models (such as athletes or kids of a similar age that have overcome health and fitness obstacles) as inspiration to help them relate. For younger kiddos, it’s all about presentation. Encourage them to be like mom, dad, older siblings, or any other family member or friend they look up to. We have many more Family Workout Routine Articles Now Available.
Chores are a great way to incorporate fitness into a daily routine, and productivity is always a great way to get everyone energized. Vacuuming and sweeping are two examples that incorporate exercise, but other “boring” chores can also be livened up. Let’s say everyone has an individual chore like cleaning the toilet, wiping countertops, taking out the trash, tidying rooms, etc. Everyone breaks off for 10 minutes of chore time. Once the chore is complete, the whole family meets up for an exercise such as push-ups, squats, jumping jacks, or a quick family dance off.
Outside chores like yard work and gardening can also be spiced up with some creativity. Rake leaves into a pile and let everyone take turns jumping in. Have a snow-shoveling contest. Have younger ones push toy lawn mowers to mimic parents. On a hot day while everyone is outside, have everyone run around through sprinklers for a chore break. Washing the car can also be a great way to get everyone involved and moving. It’s amazing how much of a workout will be for everyone!
Having a designated family fitness night during the week is a great way to let everyone take turns choosing an activity. Depending on your climate, these can be as simple as walking the dog around the neighborhood, a family bike ride after dinner, swimming, basketball, soccer, frisbee, throwing a baseball in the yard, hoola-hooping, etc. The possibilities are endless and each child will look forward to his or her night to choose the activity.
Family fitness on the weekends might be the easiest way to fit in a great family workout. Look up appropriate trails in your area and go for a hike. Plan a route and go for a family bike ride through your neighborhood or a local bike trail. Take the family to a local park or a school track. Try putting kids on your back and do lunges and squats for added intensity. Hopscotch is a great way to incorporate fancy footwork and keep the heart rate up. A family tennis match is also a great idea for a family of four. Or take everyone to the driving range and practice hitting golf balls. Once everyone is ready, nine holes of golf are the perfect way to incorporate quality family time with some friendly competition. Paddle boarding, kayaking and canoeing are all great water sports to try out as a family on a Saturday or Sunday when you have a good block of time.
Family gatherings and parties can also be a great way to sneak in a little fitness. Some ideas include old-fashioned tag, relay races, pool parties, rock climbing and roller-skating. Kids not only love all of these, but parents will too! During the holidays, when you have extended family all together, plan for a fun activity after dinner, such as a walk around the block, a family game of tag, or even a push up challenge. Another great idea is to organize a family fun run such as a mud run or color run. You can put together a “team” of family and friends for a great weekend event for all ages.
And if all else fails, turn on some music, grab your kids and sing and dance around the house. They are guaranteed to love it! We have many more Exercise Routine Articles Now Available.