For many people, motivating themselves to workout is a pretty significant challenge. This tends to only get more complicated when there’s a whole family involved. For one thing, you have responsibilities and demands on your time. But each member of the family will have their own interests and abilities that can make it difficult to keep everyone active together. Still, research shows that the healthy practices of a parent can greatly influence the health of the child, even as they progress into adulthood.
Yeah you’re probably not going to get ripped with these ideas but your family can definitely stay fit together. So, how can you do it? Here are just a few quick tips for keeping your family active.
Make it a game – Fueled by their own creativity, kids can come up with some pretty interesting activities that can easily be tweaked to make them more like exercises. For example, bust out the sidewalk chalk and have your kids draw their own obstacle course. Or play catch with a kickball and switch up the rules to focus on certain muscle groups. Other common toys like hula hoops and jump rope can also be used to keep things interesting.
Go for walks – Of course, you could simply go for a family walk or bike ride together. If your kids are the curious type, turn it into an adventure for them by letting them explore a little. This is not only a good way to build healthy habits but it’s also a perfect way for the whole family to spend some time together.
Think activity not exercise – When you go for those walks, or pursue any type of activity as a family, resist the urge to approach it like a normal workout. When you hit the gym, it’s likely structured and you probably have a pre-defined idea of how long you’re going to be their or how challenging it needs to be. That approach may not work with your entire family, especially if you have small children. Be flexible and simply focus on getting everyone moving.
Take classes together – If you are interested in building more structure into these activities, you might consider taking a class together. Many gyms offer “mommy and me” style programs, where parents and children can go through the program together.
The sport of chores – Even with all this activity, though, you still have to get stuff done around the house. So, why not turn those chores into a game? Even mundane things like cleaning up or doing the laundry can be made a little more interesting – and physically demanding – by turning it into a race.
Keep it regular – As with anything else, however, it’s important that these activities be regular. Your goal should be to build healthy habits – for both yourself and your children. And that doesn’t happen overnight.
But not predictable – Caution is needed in this regard, though. While you’re working to create a healthy, active routine fight any tendency for those activities to become obligatory, predictable or boring.