Fitness, it tends to be a love hate relationship for most. I feel like the majority of people fall into two categories, you are either really good at it or you are really bad at it. Something I hear a lot of(from mostly myself) are very good excuses why exercise isn’t a regular part of people’s routines. My whole life I have been able to come up with some reason or another as to why I am not exercise regularly. For the past almost 7 years, that excuse has always been “I have kids”. I look around and talk with others and it seems its a common excuse among so many of us parents. Why do we think that having a kid excuses us from exercise? Yes, we are tired. Yes, we are busy, and yes, it is hard to take them with you to the gym(AKA hard to stomach making a monthly payment for a gym membership that you never use because “you have kids”). Yes to so many of these excuses, but it has never been more important than now that you exercise on a regular basis. You have little children to teach healthy habits and they learn best by following your example! I have come up with some fun ways to not only get your exercise, but ways to include the family to make exercise a healthy habit for your whole family!
Walk. Walking is such a simple yet effective form of exercise and kids love it too! You can even make a ritual out of a pre or post dinner walk.
Ride bikes. Find a nice paved trail and get the kids out with you. It’s great bonding time and you can really get some great fitness in. Bonus is that it is easy on the knees!
Swimming. If its warm enough outside or if you have access to an indoor pool, swimming is such a great family activity! Kids play big time in the pool and just trying to keep up with their energy will have your heart rate on the rise in no time. Don’t be afraid to play along with them. You will be surprised how much of a workout this can be!
Watch TV. Wait a minute... WHAT? Yes. I said watch TV.(I know, I know...you’re thinking, this lady is crazy!) Who said you can’t turn watching TV into an exercise?? I say let’s do it! If you’re like our family and love a good Family Movie Night, consider making an exercise game out of it! Set an alarm for every 15-20 minutes throughout the movie. When the alarm goes off, press pause and everyone does a round of predetermined exercises. When everyone is finished, reset your timer, press play and get ready to go again!
Fitness Classes. Take a fitness class together. There are lots of different kinds of classes. Yoga, Aerobics, and, Zumba just to name a few. Even in classes full of adults, I’ve seen people bring their kids to participate and they love it!! Try finding a class that is fun for everyone and try it out!
Dance Party. I love the options that suggest you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home! Wear whatever you want, crank some of your favorite tunes, set a 30 minute timer, and everyone DANCE! The kids will love seeing that fun side of you and you will get some great exercise in burning lots of calories, not to mention all the stress relief from dancing!
Game night. We absolutely love games at our house, so this idea really appeals to me! Make an obstacle course for the whole family to tackle. You could also make some cards with family friendly exercises on them and everyone draws and does an exercise until all the cards are completed!
There are tons of great ideas on how to get your family active but the best idea of all is to lead by example! Your kids want to be just like you so give them healthy habits to copy. Take the stair instead of the elevator whenever you get a chance. Help plan regular exercise times with your family and participate. Since we're on the topic of healthy habits, let them help meal plan and meal prep! They get so much more excited about eating healthy foods when they are able to choose and prepare them. I'd love to hear how you stay active and healthy with your family! Leave a comment with your favorite family fitness activity!