In today’s world, quality family time is often replaced with busy work schedules, school, sports activities and the list could go on. As a society, we have become so busy that often we forget to take care of ourselves, and spend time with loved ones. If you’ve been trying to get your family together for activities but nothing seems to go as planned, try making fitness your go-to activity. Family fitness can be fun and beneficial to everyone’s health, physically and mentally. You will be helping improve physical health and strength and also strengthen relationships within the family. Family fitness doesn’t have to be at a gym. It can be as simple as going on a walk once a week, or playing in leaf piles in the fall. There are numerous ways to increase physical activity with your family, no matter what age the kids are. Here are some ideas to help get your family moving and away from the television!
- Plan a family walk or bike ride. Make an effort to go every evening before or after dinner, or every other night. If your family isn’t 100% dedicated to the idea of family fitness, at least make an effort once a week. Bundle up…even the 4legged family members will thank you!
- Make household chores a fitness contest. See who can clean the quickest while stopping to do twenty jumping-jacks every five minutes.
- Buy everyone in the family a pedometer (most stores like Target or Walmart have reasonable prices) and see who can take the most steps throughout the day. Total everyone’s steps at the end of the week and the winner gets to plan the next family activity.
- In the fall, make raking leaves fun. Rake together one huge pile and then take turns jumping in it. For the winter, building snow forts or having a snowball fight is a great idea for families with littler kids.- When running errands, park at the farthest end of the parking lot and take the stairs instead of the escalator. This is not hard to do now with EVERYONE out shopping!
- Have an afternoon day in the park. Pack everyone a healthful lunch, then spend the day playing soccer, football or whatever sport you may like. Sports can also get the kids excited and competitive to win when playing their siblings. The harder you play the better!
- Walk around the zoo for the day and let the kids see their favorite animals. Go miniature golfing or bowling or take the kids to the local pool.
- Take the train downtown and walk to your family’s destinations. You’ll get to see the city while sneaking in fitness!
- With the weather a bit frightful, try doing video game fitness…WII fit, Zumba, Just Dance, WII sports. There are many choices and the kids will LOVE it!
There is no limit to the ways you can sneak physical activity into your family’s lifestyle. Just get out and get moving! The best part is that although most research has recommended sixty minutes of physical activity most days of the week, your activities don’t have to be an hour long. When time is tight, split activities into ten to fifteen minute sessions throughout the day. This will make doing the activity seem more like fun rather than like a chore you need to find time for.
Did you Know???
- Every time you step forward, you use fifty-four muscles. To speak one word, you use seventy.
- The heart is the strongest muscle in the body.
- The more fun you have when doing physical activity, the more likely you are to do it regularly. So find something you love!
- Exercise helps reduce wrinkles. The extra blood flow to the skin delivers more nutrients which make it thicker.
- Alaska has the highest percentage of people who walk to work.
- Sledding downhill can burn up to 450 calories per hour.
- Exercisers who are mentally fatigued will stop their workouts 15% earlier than those who are mentally alert. When you play hard make sure to rest for the next round!