Often when we think about fitness, our minds go directly to hitting the gym, going for a run, participating in group fitness classes, or other traditional fitness activities. While these types of exercise can be part of an effective workout plan, if you have a family, they may be tough to squeeze into your schedule.
For this reason, it may be a wise decision to start incorporating more family fitness focused activities into your regular routine. Not only will you be able to meet your weekly or daily activity goals, you’ll also be able to spend quality time with family. Below I’ve listed three reasons why you should consider more family fitness activities.
3 Reasons for Family Fitness
1. Family Efficiency
Getting a workout in doesn’t always mean you need to be lifting weights or sweating profusely as you pound out the miles on your cardio machine. It can be something as simple as going for a walk, playing tag with your children, or practicing a sport. Not only will you be getting your daily dose of activity, you will be encouraging your family to participate in fitness activities without knowing it!
Unless you are extremely self-motivated, you know how important it is to have a motivation or accountability partner. The best part about incorporating family fitness is the benefit of forming your own accountability group. Once you add family fitness activities to your weekly schedule, your family may start to expect them. This will encourage them to become your very own support team reminding you that it’s time to get your activity in for the day. The more consistent you are, the more accountability you will build for yourself and your family. For more on how to stay motivated, check out our podcast episodes on motivation.
3. Long Lasting
Healthy habits are built like any other habit - the more consistent you are, the stronger the habit will be. By regularly facilitating fitness activities with your family, young children will develop expectations for fitness activity throughout the week, which could help them develop lifelong healthy habits. If you can foster these healthy habits, your children might help to hold you accountable throughout your lifetime as well.
Get Started with Family Fitness
Now that you are ready to start adding more family fitness activities to your weekly schedule, you may need a few ways to get started. We’ve listed three ways to easily integrate fun family fitness activities into your routine. While every family has different interests and schedules, the following activities are easy things you can begin incorporating into your routine right away.
1. Post Dinner Walk
For many families, dinner time is the one time of day when the family all comes together to partake in a meal. If you already have everyone together, gather up the whole crew and head outside for a brisk walk. While everyone in your family may not be trying to lose weight, walking just after a meal has been shown to help with weight loss.
2. Weekly Family Fitness Activity
The weekends are a great time to plan a fun family fitness activity or outing. The goal is to find something your whole family will enjoy while keeping them physically active. If you know your family enjoys hiking, try a few new hiking trails. Going for a bike ride is another great family activity that can be done together while still helping you burn some extra calories. Outdoor sports are a great option that are fun for the kids while cultivating a competitive environment which can help boost your effort and increase calorie burn.
3. Mini Workouts
While it may seem like just another popular trend on social media, mini workouts can be a great way to interact and build healthy habits with your children. While it may take some time to discover what activities they enjoy the most, once you find something they like, they should be interested in joining you long enough to help you burn some extra calories. Dancing to their favorite songs, playing tag, using them as human weights, or introducing them to basic exercise moves like squats, jumps, and high planks are all great ways to help them find foundational physical activities to help build their physical fitness, while you get to enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle.