The importance of regular exercise as a family cannot be overemphasized. It boosts your mood, increases your energy level, controls your weight and even increases your lifespan. Exercise is a habit that should be developed early in life. Apart from that, it is also be given critical attention.
Undoubtedly, it gets tougher as parents to maintain a lifestyle of exercise. You’ll hardly even get private time in your bathroom without your kids following along. It’s that serious. However, exercise is still as important if not more. As parents, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle if you are to keep up with the physical demands of raising children.
Another reason to exercise is that your kids model your behaviour. So, if you wish to create a happy, healthy and disease-free future for your kids, you’ll need to start acting as they should. Their attitudes and actions towards everything, such as nutrition, exercise and to even politics are shaped by parents’ actions and behaviours. If you want your kids to eat well, you need to eat well. If you want them to exercise, you need to exercise.
Exercising as a family not only improves overall fitness, it also helps create a culture of wellness. In the home, children learn from early on that healthy habits are a positive way of life. Below are 10 ways in which you can have fun and exercise together as a family.
1. Family Walks
Often, the simplest solution is the best. Family walks can be said to be the most common exercise activity amongst families. There are so many benefits to walking and being outdoors. Plus, the whole family can participate (even the baby in a stroller). Taking family walks is a good way to exercise together especially when you live near a park or in a friendly neighbourhood.
2. Get Down to The Music
This involves putting on some nice music and dancing all over the house for an extended period. You may invite friends and extended family members over (the more the merrier!). You can have a three-hour dance-off where everyone dances and those that know the lyrics may sing along. The key here is to have fun and exercise while at it.
3. House Chore Games
Create make-believe scenarios with your kids. You pretend dust creatures are invading earth and it’s up to your superhero child to save the day. Your superhero child has to capture them with a broom. Or you could make them believe they have to save their teddy bears from the slimy pit of the floor and put them safely in their toy chest. You can get creative with other household chores which involve physical activity that suits your family. It is a good way to exercise while getting work done around the house.
4. Sneak Workouts into Other Activities
You can involve slight workouts in other daily activities to keep you and your family active. For example; you may ask your toddler to walk instead of riding a cart at the supermarket. Or opt to take the stairs instead of lifts or an escalator. Alternatively, you may drive partway to your kids’ school, park your car and walk the rest of the way. This will give you and your kid a good workout as well as some bonding time as you walk back to where you’re parked.
5. TV Breaks = Fitness Breaks
Television breaks can be a valuable time to get a decent workout in for you and your family. Create silly names for simple exercises and do them together till the show comes back on. You can call them super-man sit-ups or Bob the builder muscle builders. Also, you can play “Solomon says” in which you take turns giving orders to each other to “drop and give me five” or leading one another in fun simple moves like clapping, wiggling and marching.
6. Weekly Games Night
Select a day of the week where you get everyone up and moving. You can create a series of playing cards including family-friendly exercises like bear-crawling or ape-walking. A family member will pick a card and perform the exercise pictured until all the cards have been played. You can also buy ready-made cards for this purpose.
7. Run or Walk for Charity
Charity walks have become more prominent in our society today. Get your family outdoors for fundraising and charity races. Even if much younger ones may not be able to participate, bring them outdoors to enjoy the ambience and atmosphere of the event. It has its own positive effect on their mind and body. They may join in after the race is concluded and have a mock race of their own.
8. Put the kids to work around the compound
Allow your kids’ house chores to extend outdoors within the compound (they usually love this). If you have greens, you can give them rakes to gather dead leaves and dirt into a pile or water plants. When done, you can allow them to play some outdoor games of their choice. So this becomes something they look forward to.
9. Dog Walks
Research from the North American Association on the study of Obesity shows that dog owners had more fun losing weight. Also, they were able to keep it off longer than non-dog owners. Dog walks are a refreshing way to get you outdoors. Walking long distances keep your mind and body in shape as well as that of your pet.
10. Family Boot Camp
Boot camps can be a great way to exercise your family. Each family member writes down 5 of his or her favourite bodyweight exercises, to get to a total of at least 20. This exercise may be callisthenics, dance moves, martial arts or anything physical that the entire family can do.
When this is done, the family then goes for a walk or run and every 60 seconds. They do one of the written exercises for 30 seconds. After all the exercises, this will have been a 20-minute workout. Of course, if you have some energy left, feel free to do some overtime 😉.
These are 10 sure ways to create smiles and sweat for you and your family, now is not the time to get lazy; get up, get your family, and get sweaty!