While we’re all leading busy lives, it can be hard to fit in family time, let alone time to exercise. Instead of trying to juggle the two, why not merge them together? Family fitness helps the family bond while promoting a healthy lifestyle to your kids. The benefits of staying physically fit are many: reducing the risk for disease, creating a more positive outlook on life and promoting better sleep and weight control are just a few. Some parents understand the importance of getting the family to be more physically active but still find it challenging to get the kids off the couch.
Sound like you? Does your family groan at the mere mention of exercise? If so, it’s time for a new approach! Get creative. Instead of “exercising,” bring your family together for some entertaining and physically active family time. Fun and active games like the ones listed below keep young (and old) players engaged and entertained while they’re moving around—perfect as family entertainment or a play date.
Have a dance competition with fun categories like best new move, fastest dancer, slowest dancer—you get the idea. Want to start small? Tonight, when you’re watching TV, dance with your kids during TV commercials. You’ll be surprised how fun it can be.
Follow the leader
A rousing game of Follow the Leader will get the entire gang moving together! Encourage the leader to be creative with movements such as hopping like a frog, running with arms out like a bird or an air plane, marching like a band, jumping, dancing or twirling. Everyone’s heart will be racing within minutes.
On Your Marks, Get Set, Race!
Walking to the corner? Race there instead. Going to get the mail? Don’t walk, run and see who gets there first. Little races here and there are a fun way to incorporate small increments of activity into you and your little one’s day.
If your little ones love to jump, turn it into a fun and physical game. Grab some chalk or string and draw a starting line. Take turns to see who can make the longest jump.
Duck, duck, goose
This is an oldie but a goodie. If you’ve never played, here are the basics: Players sit in a circle, facing inward, while one player walks around tapping or pointing to each player, calling each a “duck,” until finally picking one to be a “goose.” That person gets up and chases the “picker” and tries to tag the “picker” before the “picker” can run around the circle and sit down in the spot where the “goose” was sitting. If the picker succeeds, the “goose” becomes the new picker. If the “goose” tags the picker, the “picker” tries again. Grab your gang and get moving!
Indoor games for the family. Badminton, ten-pin bowling and table-tennis (to name just three) are all activities that everyone in the family can have a go at – and booking an hour or two at your local sports centre won’t break the bank either. As the children get older, you could organize mini tournaments and head-to-heads – where the competition is certain to provide you with a quality workout!
Family often becomes the reason of your missing workouts, but make it your reason for workout. Stay safe, stay healthy.