Make everyone in the family move with these tips!
For most of us, finding time to exercise is a real feat. But making it a family affair allows you to rediscover the pleasure of getting in shape and keeps the motivation for change for parents and children.
With rising rates of adult and child obesity, it is more important than ever to make exercise a priority for the whole family. From great family challenges to a simple morning stretching session, here are five easy (and fun) ways to fit family exercises into your busy schedule.
1. The great challenges of the family
Nothing motivates you more than a reward or a friendly competition. Find a prize that everyone in the family will want to “win” and determine the duration of the challenge (a one-month period is a good start).
Then ask each family member to choose an exercise (for example, 10 jumping jacks, 2 sun salutations, 10 flights of stairs) that you will do each day. Create a chart to record your workouts. At the end of the combined period, gather everyone’s achievements and see who takes home the family empowerment award. Then, set a new date and switch exercises or add to previous exercises. A series of fun family runs – walking, jogging or mini-triathlons – can also serve as great challenges for the family.
2. Forget the car, go on foot
Whether dropping the kids off at school, going to the park or running errands, choose to make your usual trips on foot, trying to find new ways to get from point A to point B. Time each route and see which ones are the most fun / interesting / noisy. It’s a great way to discover new streets in your neighborhood, get to know where you live and just walk around.
3. The game in the schedule
Set aside time in your schedule (or two or three) when all members of the family are available to play. Change your activity every week and let everyone take turns deciding what type of exercise they want to do as a family. Yoga classes, free swimming in the neighborhood pool, hiking in the forest, cycling, lots of activities for your family. And who knows, one of them may become your favorite activity.
4. Daily doses
Set aside a few minutes in the morning for a family stretching session or, in the evening, for an after-dinner walk. Waking up to a workout is a great way to kick the sleepy fog and start the day on the right foot. And a walk after dinner is a much better way to relieve the stress of the day than sitting in front of the television. By integrating exercise sessions into our daily lives, we all have a better chance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for a long time.
5. Like old times!
Show your kids all the games you played when they were their age. Whether organizing an obstacle course or family Olympics, playing flag, football, hiding or just throwing the ball, go out with your family every day to move around freely and have fun together.
Making exercise part of your daily schedule doesn’t have to be a chore and you don’t have to sign up for expensive classes and training programs. Family exercise is a great way to strengthen family bonds and is great for physical and mental health.