Family fitness activities don’t need to be masterfully orchestrated events – and shouldn’t be. Parents are busy people, and often lack the time and energy required to plan out ambitious fitness routines for the whole family. But keeping fit doesn’t require hours of planning and prep, just motivation! Keep it simple, and try out a few of these common family exercises.
Take Family Walks
Why not take a walk? Family walks are ideal for their flexibility – parents can suggest them whenever they have a spare moment. However, if they want to establish a routine, parents should make a habit of suggesting a walk during the before- or after-dinner lulls. Walking is often described as the “king of all exercises;” it is simple enough for children, exciting for adults, and easy on the elderly. If children are unenthused about taking walks, try framing the exercise as a nature-based adventure! Ask them to collect flowers or stones while observing and discussing the scenery, then survey the findings when the trip concludes. If you want a more difficult exercise, you should consider carrying hand weights during the walk.
Another high ranking and simple family fitness tool is dancing. Simply turning on some up-tempo music at any time can become a great workout session. Dancing at home provides a great opportunity for a high intensity cardio session without ever having to leave the house. If you want more of a social experience, you should consider joining a family dance class at your local recreation or fitness center.
Roller-skating and bicycle riding are both great, easy exercise – and for families with small children, they can be great outdoor learning experiences. Both exercises allow the entire family to get some outdoor air and sunlight and are excellent low-intensity, calorie burning, muscle building, and respiratory improving cardiovascular workouts. If the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor biking or skating, you should consider seeking out a local roller skating rink. Many indoor skating rinks offer classes for new skaters as well.
Playing games can also be fun and beneficial to family fitness. There are plenty of options in this category, from semi-organized neighborhood games of softball to kicking a soccer ball around in your yard or at a local park. You can also play simple games like Simon Says or Tag.
Encouraging family fitness doesn’t have to be stressful! Test some of the above suggestions out to see what works for your family!