How to get the whole family to exercise
Once a natural part of daily life, exercise is something that often needs a little more thought in the modern world. Children spend much of their day sitting down in lessons and, with a lot of entertainment now being digital, often less time being active in the playground too. This shift is mirrored in the lives of adults, who frequently have sedentary jobs and similarly inactive hobbies that can be enjoyed while sitting down.
So, getting enough exercise is something for the whole family to think about. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a chore; approach it the right way, and exercise can be a great way for your family to have fun together, not to mention get healthier and feel more energetic.
Here are a few simple ideas for fun family exercise:
There are so many distractions in the home that sometimes it can be hard to spend quality time together even when you’re all in one place. A family walk is a great way not only to stretch your legs and get some exercise, but also simply to talk to each other without the interruptions of television, computers and phones.
During the working week, try short walks before or after dinner to slip a little light activity into your everyday routine.
Most kids love riding their bike, so family bike rides are an easy way to get the children excited about exercise. Plus, trips like this are just as fun for parents as for little ones. What’s more, they are also flexible, ranging from half an hour around the local area to whole days out exploring a forest. Why not aim to have a few different kinds of bike ride each month? This variety will help keep both you and the children interested. You can also try more challenging routes when your fitness improves.
Another great option is to play some games together. In the summer, why not get together friends and family for a game of rounders, for instance, or football in the local park? If your children aren’t very interested in team sports, there are still plenty of options for active games. There are lots of active videogames available, for example, that make it easy for families to be a little more active without even leaving the house.
Another useful tip is to pick something active when organising family treats. For example, you could swap a trip to the cinema for a morning spent splashing about in the local pool, or a visit to a roller skating rink.
It’s also worth remembering that there are plenty of ways to get the whole family active outside of what’s usually considered to be exercise. Gardening is a great example of this. Activities such as digging, weeding, raking and mowing all raise the heart rate and work the lungs, while also being really rewarding. Plus, kids will love seeing their plants grow!
Whatever you decide to do, planning ahead can make a big difference. At the start of the week, look at your calendar and decide where you can fit a few activities in. Putting them in your diary will help make sure things like walks and trips to the swimming pool don’t end up pushed to one side when time is short.