Family Fitness: How to Get Everyone Involved
If you don’t want to work out alone, and feel like getting your family involved, there are ways you can build a successful family fitness routine.
With today’s focus on new technology, more than half of adolescents between the ages of 8-14, aren’t getting enough exercise. This has contributed to increased rates of childhood obesity across the country.
“The simple, most effective strategy to get all members of your family to work out, is to make sure the activity is fun,” says Sean Wells, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist for the NSCA, and the fitness expert at BistroMD. “Activities like swimming, playing sports, and outdoor games all burn calories, but they also make your kids more eager to be active.”
In order to get your family moving, and to keep your kids healthy, our fitness expert, Sean, is reviewing the top four ways you can build an effective family fitness program.
4. Buy Some Fun Equipment
Kids love to play with things. Especially if those things encourage activity, or if it involves playing a game or a certain sport.
“A great way to encourage family fitness, is to buy your kids some actual equipment,” says Sean. “In-line skates are a great option, and they are relatively inexpensive. You can also purchase simple things, like a football, and have a family game in your backyard.”
Many towns also have various sports leagues and clubs that encourage families to participate as teams. Create a family team, and get together to make your own jerseys. Create a fun nickname for your family team to encourage team spirit and motivation.
3. Plan an Active Outing
“Another fun way to encourage family fitness is to plan a special outing every month or so for your entire family,” says Sean. “Not only is this a great way to get your entire family active, but it also gives your kids something fun and exciting to look forward to.”
Depending on where you live, seasonal activities are great motivators to get your kids active. In the winter, rent a log cabin on the weekend in the mountains and go skiing and snowboarding with your entire family. Ice skating is also a good option—it burns calories, and it’s a good time!
In the summer, water sports are also great. Swimming is great exercise, and there a ton of ways to make it fun. Renting a boat and waterskiing is also a fun way to encourage more family fitness.
2. Encourage Your Family to “Work”
“There are many philanthropy projects in your community and national charitable organizations that encourage families to physically participate in an activity that encourages family fitness,” says Sean. “Many national organizations, like The American Cancer Society, host events like 'Relay for Life' which encourages families to walk for a good cause.”
You can also encourage your family to volunteer for organizations that require physical participation in order to accomplish a goal. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity are always looking for people to help build new homes for needy families.
If there is a certain cause that has significant meaning for you and your family, get involved and become an active participant. Not only will you be encouraging family fitness, but you will also be making a difference.
1. Optimize Relaxation
To encourage more family fitness, you can make your down time more fun and active.
“Young kids, especially, love making an adventure out of a normal, leisurely activity,” says Sean. “Rather than just sitting on the couch and watching TV in your down time, plan something fun and spontaneous in your house, like a scavenger hunt, or a fun game, like charades.”
Various interactive games can also help you encourage more family fitness in your down time. Twister is an appropriate classic, and with new gaming consoles like the Wii and Xbox, you can snowboard, bowl, and race a bike in your living room.
By following these methods of encouraging family fitness, your family will be healthier and happier in no time.
To see more tips from our experts, visit our healthy facts section for more information.
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