These days, families don't spend nearly enough time exercising together. Parents head to the gym while kids go to sports activities. But what about exercising together as a family to stay active and create lifelong memories? Here's your family exercise game plan with tips on exercising as a family, and ideas on how to fit it in a busy schedule.
Family Exercise Activities
Photo source: Loren Kerns/Flickr
Usually, kids aren't going to be excited to join you at the gym to lift weights or run long distances on the treadmil. Instead, think of fun activities that will keep kids interested. Here are some ideas:
- Go for family walks. Even if you don't have a dog, you can still strap on some sneakers and go for family walks around the neighborhood. Check out the sights and sounds of the neighborhood while getting your heart rate up.
- Take family bike rides. Instead of a walk, go on a bike ride. The only rule? Everyone in the family must come along.
- Have a dance party. At the end of a long day, crank up the music and get to town boogying down! Make it fun for everyone by letting each family member pick a song.
- Work up a sweat cleaning the house. Instead of making chores a bore, turn them into a competition. Whoever completes their chores first wins a prize. Chores will quickly turn into a cardio session as kids try to get them done in a snap.
- Have a weekly game night. Instead of board games, this weekly game night consists of sports! Think games like volleyball, kickball, softball, badminton or gaga. The trick is to stay active.
- Take an adventure vacation. Ready to kick it up a notch? Go on an adventure vacation with the family. Try white water rafting along the Delaware River, scuba diving at the coral reefs in Hawaii, or horseback riding through the great White Plains.
Fitting Exercise in a Busy Schedule
Parents are busier than ever, between both parents holding down full time jobs and rushing kids to extracurricular activities. Family exercise is one of the things that tends to fall through the cracks. After all, kids are staying active through sports, right? Actually, kids need to learn how to incorporate exercise into their everyday lives because when they reach adulthood, they may not be able to rely on team or organized sports. Here are some tips:
- Make it part of the routine. If you make a workout part of your routine, it's easier to stay on track. For example, you always take a walk after dinner. Or, you hop out of bed on the weekends for a family game of volley ball.
- Turn it into a game. Like with the chores idea above, turn regular household tasks into a lively and fun game. Kids won't even realize they're exercising.
- Fit it into the family rules. Every family should have some set-in-stone rules, especially when it comes to family exercise. Determine some family exercise guidelines and write them down so you stick to them. Use this worksheet to help get you started.
Exercising as a family is totally doable. Your family exercise game plan can jump start your family into a healthier lifestyle.
Featured image source: Borough of Land Management/Flickr