Many people, including families as a unit, feel as though there are not enough hours in a day to spend time together between work, school, and other obligations; so it makes sense to make your family time active time as much as possible. This way you’re spending time together while also boosting your fitness and modeling a healthy lifestyle for your kids.
Going to the gym is fine for adults, but when you get your kids involved you’ve got to get a little more creative…and fun! Take a look at these ten ideas for ways to get active as a family:
1. Go on a Scavenger Hunt
Make a list of challenges (find an orange leaf, get a neighbor’s signature, snap a photo of a playground, etc.), split your family into teams, set a time limit and then head off (on foot or on bike) to see who can complete the most items.
2. Have a Water Day
Tossing water balloons, splashing in a kiddie pool and running through a sprinkler in the backyard are fun ways to stay cool and active on a hot summer day.
3. Set ‘Mileage’ Goals for the Weekend
Decide as a family how many steps, or how many miles, you want to travel over the weekend. Then have fun trying to reach the goal. You can use pedometers to measure steps taken while running errands, going on hikes, playing tag and more, and can challenge the family to increase your goal each weekend.
4. Wash the Car
Washing the car uses key core muscles and can be a fun, bonding experience, especially if you take time to cool off with the hose, too.
5. Family Olympics
Get together with a group of families and compete in events like hula-hoops, 50-yard dash, relay race, basketball shoot, and an obstacle course. You can even make it an annual event!
6. Family Fitness Classes
If you like a more structured routine, try a fitness class designed for families, like stroller workouts, mom/dad and baby workouts, or family yoga.
7. Do Chores Together
Vacuuming, washing windows, weeding the garden, raking leaves, and even doing laundry work your muscles and burn calories while teaching your kids the value of responsibility. Make chores fun by setting a time limit and turning up the music while you work together as a family.
8. Plan Seasonal Outdoor Activities
Swimming, biking, canoeing and hiking are great in the summer, while sledding, ice skating, building a snowman or skiing are fun – and great for your fitness goals – in the winter.
9. Play Together
Tag, hide-and-go-seek, hop scotch, doing cartwheels, and dancing in the kitchen are so much fun you won’t even realize its exercise in disguise.
10. Try out Family Sports
A backyard game of softball or volleyball, shooting hoops or taking a trip to a golf course give you quality time as a family while staying active.