Integrate exercise into your family routine
It’s not always easy to hit the gym when you’ve got a full family schedule, but you can still find ways to stay active and fit together. In addition to relieving stress and instilling healthy habits in your children, exercising as a family is a great alternative to turning on the TV or indulging in unhealthy snacks.
Here are a few ways to integrate exercise into your family routine.
1. Walk the walk. Sometimes the only exercise equipment you need is your own neighborhood. Before or after dinner is a great time to go for a walk and explore. It will jump start your metabolism and give you a chance to discuss the events of the day without distractions. To bump up the action, add wheels to your routine. Bikes, roller skates and scooters are all great ways to get kids moving and breathing fresh air.
2. Transform your living room. If it’s too dark to get out, or the weather won’t cooperate, push the furniture aside and get moving on your own private family dance floor. Create a playlist together, or take turns choosing which song to groove to next.
3. Gamify the chores. Picking up toys and folding clothes don’t have to be relegated to the end of the day when you’re exhausted. Make a contest out of who can run the most toys back to the storage bin, with a rule that each child can only carry one at a time. Sort clothes by hopping from pile to pile on one foot.
4. Take game night outside. Designate one night a week to be outdoors. Family members can take turns choosing which sport or activity the family will play. Team sports like basketball and flag football are a great way to build teamwork while classic yard games like tag build stamina and coordination.
5. Be charitable. Joining a walk or run for charity can be a great way to set a fitness goal with your family and teach the importance of supporting a cause. Decide as a family which charity to support, or look for an active organization like Habitat for Humanity to join and get to work. If your family members fall into different physical fitness levels, many charity run/walk events offer a variety of categories. Mom and dad can do the big race and then help the kids in a follow-up event.
6. Go green. One way to exercise and eat well is to grow your own fruits and vegetables. Kids love to dig in the dirt and gardening is a great way to work muscles that may not get a lot of activity. Bonus: Kids may be more excited to eat healthy food they helped nurture. Encourage responsibility by giving them jobs like watering and weeding.
Staying active and fit is great for the body and spirit, but also a fantastic bonding experience for the whole family. Find your favorite activities and incorporate them into your weekly routine!