Sometimes it is hard to find time for fitness when you are loaded down with work, school, homework, and everything else we all have to get done in our busy weeks. You probably know that exercise is important for your family, and you want to make sure your kids grow up healthy. Setting an example for your children is important and helping them understand that exercise can be fun is the first step.
Below are some tips on how to get your kids involved in exercise and how to get the whole family up and moving, even when you don't have too much time to spare.
Set aside time each day where you do something outdoors as a family. Growing up we used to go for a walk every night after dinner. At the time I didn't think much of it, but looking back I realize it was a great way for us kids to get some exercise and still enjoy family time. There are plenty of other ways to plan exercise into your schedule too. When you all have the day off work and school this could be a visit to a local pool, ice skating, sledding or a nice hike. Pack a picnic lunch or pack some healthy snacks in case anyone gets the munchies. On days where you are working or have less time, plan a game of hopscotch, jump rope or kicking a ball around the front yard or a nearby park. Even if it's just for 20 minutes a day, getting your family up and moving is easier than you may think!
Make Your House "Fitness Friendly"
It's very easy to plop down on the couch and reach for the television remote or video games after a long day. Replace your traditional video games with a Wii Fit for the Nintendo, or keep a few light weights and balance balls. A fun game of Wii bowling is a lot more fun than listening to everyone scream over which show they want to watch. You can also make television time be "workout time" where everyone does something active while still enjoying your favorite show or movie together. Another easy idea is to have a family "Dance Party". Push some furniture out of the way, crank up your favorite tunes, and take turns showing off your favorite moves.
Makes Chores A Game
Chores can be pretty boring, so why not turn them into a game? See who can get their chores done the fastest, or have everyone time themselves and see if they can beat their time from the previous week. Set
aside a little time each day for household chores and play music while you clean and pick up. Let everyone choose a favorites song and dance around while you all pitch in as a family. Even if you don't have kids, this is a great way to get pump some more fun into your own chores.
Involve Other FamiliesGetting exercise doesn't have to just involved your family, you can also invite your family, friends and/or neighbors. It is a nice way to spend time with others, and it also makes sure you won't back out of the events you have planned. Make Sunday's "Game Day" where you and other families challenge each other to a game of soccer or other sports you all enjoy. Mix us team members each time so everyone gets to play with someone new.
Walk, Walk, Walk!
Forget the car or bus and try to walk as many places as you can. This could be to the local library, park or grocery store. If you are going somewhere that requires you drive, park in the back of the lot to get as many extra steps in as possible. You can even create a fun family exercise log to track how much or how often you walked, which can be an incentive for younger children. Place the log somewhere where it will be a reminder for everyone that it is time to get moving. Some of my favorite places to walk are Farmer's Markets, the local zoo, the mall (leave your wallet in the car!!) or laps around the park, with some fun stops to play on the playground. Seeing me try and swing and squirm all the way across the monkey bars may not be a pleasant site for anyone standing nearby, but it's still a great up body workout.
What ideas do you have to keep yourself and your family active? Leave your suggestions in the comment section below!