Exercising, eating right and spending time together can be one of the keys to a happier, healthier family. Take the following family workout ideas to heart and let them help you find ways to strengthen your bond physically and emotionally.
Using fitness to bring your family closer is not a solo operation. Your goal should be to get every member involved. Before you begin making drastic changes in your family’s life, sit down together and go over some of the key areas where you’d like to see improvement.
Why is Family Workout a Good Option?
Share with your family how becoming more healthy together will improve life. A study found in the International Journal of Stress Management showed that people who exercise with a partner gain significant stress-reducing benefits over those who exercise alone. Let the family know that there are real, proven benefits to working together on this.
Changing your family’s lifestyle can begin with very small tweaks to your daily routine. Little things like walking places together rather than driving and planning healthy meals ahead of time can add more excitement into your relationships and help keep things fresh and interesting.
As parents, you can take advantage of the predisposition towards activity kids have by building on it and training children from a young age to love physical activity.
Sports and group exercises have the ability to build character and self-esteem if kids are given proper encouragement and celebrated when they achieve even the smallest amount of success. A 2014 article published in the US National Library of Medicine showed that sports significantly aid in a child’s overall development.
Proper eating habits and making healthy food choices are a big part of fitness. Finding foods the whole family enjoys can often be difficult enough. Making those foods healthy; well that’s a whole different kind of ball game. Try adding pureed vegetables and fruit within the family’s regular meals to infuse goodness without sacrificing any taste.
Tips and Ideas for a Family Workout
Small changes over a long period of time can transform normal life into an extraordinary one. Here are some places to start.
Make Time to Exercise Together
If we look hard enough we can all find places where we aren’t being efficient with our time. Reclaim those lost hours and use them to your advantage. Your health needs to be a priority.
It can be challenging at best to get older children to participate with the rest of the family. Get them excited and involved by adding some competition to the mix. Motivate older youth and teens by putting a reward or consequence on the table for the winning or the losing team. This will get them excited about the game and keep them interested.
Kids need to be taught that it’s hard work that makes you a winner and not charity. That being said, no one wants to feel the sting of loss all the time either. If you have little kids playing with you, celebrate their small victories to help keep them engaged and feeling proud.
Take Off Your Coaching Hat
Family activity time is not always the best time to be coach-mom or dad. Concentrate on having fun and letting everyone else have fun as well. Others may resent having to undergo a full-on golfing lesson each time the family wants to spend a few hours on the green together.
When All Else Fails
Sometimes, despite all our best efforts, we fall short of our goals. I think this is especially true in fitness. If getting the family to play outside is just laughable in your house, don’t feel bad. You are certainly not alone and it’s all about taking little steps. There’s a huge variety of sports and dance games to get the family moving and grooving. Just don’t use the word grooving if you want your teen to play with you.
Try the Veggie Experiment
When everyone’s sitting down to watch TV together in the evening try putting a plate of freshly cut, raw fruit and vegetables on the table where the chip bowl usually hangs out. See if the family doesn’t eat them up. They may still want the chips after but at least they get something nutritious in them first.
Exciting Things to Do Together
- Go swimming together.
- Play basketball! My personal favorite! Not really the most pet-friendly but great for larger families and couples.
- Take a ride on one of the scenic bike paths in your area.
- Go hiking for the afternoon.
- Canoeing in the summer can be a real adventure. Many marinas rent out canoes for the day at a fair price.
- Yard work. Not the most fun but you’re getting something done and getting some exercise simultaneously.
- Go for a walk together in the evening.
- Many major races have “Fun Runs” they support alongside them. Join those 5km marathons as a family.
From fighting off a whole plethora of unfortunate health problems to simply increasing the overall happiness found at home, a healthier lifestyle through fitness is the tool that can impact the overall wellbeing of your entire family. Remember, a healthy home is a happy home.