The Family Is All In
IF YOU’RE TRYING TO JUGGLE YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE WITH QUALITY TIME, CONSIDER FINDING WAYS TO STAY FIT AND HEALTHY AS A FAMILY. BESIDES THE OBVIOUS THRILL OF MULTITASKING, YOU’LL ALSO BE ENCOURAGING YOUR CHILDREN TO MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES THAT CAN BENEFIT THEM FOR LIFE.
KEEP IT CLASSY!
Take up a new activity as a family. It doesn’t matter if it’s a martial art, yoga, swimming, or clog dancing, the idea is to find something everyone will enjoy. Many community centers and gyms offer family fitness classes.
IT’S ALL FUN AND GAMES
Remember the goal is fitness, not cut-throat competition. You want your children to get healthy, not require therapy as adults. With that in mind, plan some backyard games, such as badminton, volleyball, whiffle ball, kickball, or even just a good ol’ family game of tag.
GO FOR THE GOLD!
Plan an ongoing family Olympics with games and activities. Some suggestions for events include:
• Pool Noodle Throw
• Frisbee Golf
• Bean Bag Toss
• Hula Hoop Contest
• Jump Rope Contest
• Potato Sack Race
• Water Balloon Toss
Keep the games small or open them up to your friends and neighbors. You can even plan opening and closing ceremonies.
ON A ROLL
Biking, skateboarding, and rollerblading are great ways to keep family exercise fun. Head to a skate park or plan destination bike rides, such as a play-ground. Don’t forget the helmets!
THE PLAY’S THE THING
Fitness and play should not be mutually exclusive. Keep things age appropriate. If you have young children, you can have fun acting out fairy tales, such as “The Tortoise and the Hare” or “The Gingerbread Man.” Anything that gets you up and moving is fair game.
WALK THIS WAY
Schedule time for regular family walks. You may opt for Saturday morning or after dinner. You can walk around your neighborhood or head off to a local park. Keep track of miles walked and schedule rewards for milestones hit. Rewards don’t have to be big. One idea is to go to the store and select a fruit or vegetable you’ve never tried for every fifty miles walked. Remember, the idea is to keep it healthy.
GROW WITH THE FLOW
A recent study showed that gardening is just as effective as going to the gym when it comes to certain long-term health benefits. Gardening is linked to everything from decreased depression and body mass index to increased life satisfaction and sense of community. Benefits were noticed after only 10 to 59 minutes of gardening per week. Consider planting a small vegetable garden as a family activity. If space is limited, you can even try container gardening.