Family recreation! Those are two important words for united and fit families. Family play, whether indoors or out, creates overall healthy families. Too many families waste countless hours locked into prime time TV rather than engaging in healthy, relational activities. But someone may ask: how can families exercise together? What are some budget friendly and creative ways to spend time exercising as a family unit? Here are some easy ways to get the family off the sofa and on the move together!
Transform Daily Tasks
One simple way to inject exercise into family life is to transform simple day-to-day tasks. Washing the dishes? Turn on upbeat music and dance as you load or unload the dry rack. Picking up toys can become fun and active if you make the toy chest into a ‘goal’ and play basketball with the (soft) toys. Inevitably families will watch a little TV so invent ‘floormercials’- a time during every commercial break where mom, dad, and kids drop on the floor and do fun exercises. The beauty of this creative way to engage in a fitter family is that you maximize the time you were already spending doing the same tasks!
Take the Puppy for a Stroll
Use mornings and evenings for taking the dog for a walk. Walk new routes and find fun adventures. Pack the puppy and family in the car and go to a local lake for a nature walk. You can even purchase step trackers for the family and challenge each other to go further each time! Don’t have a dog? Offer to walk a your neighbor’s pet! They will be thrilled to have the help!
This is a fun and active way to stay fit, especially if you have young children. Have the parents search out ten or so great hiding spots and let the fun begin. Be creative and implement different rules every few rounds (lights off, hoping only, crawling only, etc.).
Go to the Park
At almost every local park there are playgrounds with a variety of exercise options. The merry-go-round is a great way for families to exercise in close proximity while having fun. There are monkey bars to do chin-ups on, balancing bars, swings, and courts to play recreational sports. Also, if you are feeling extra playful, find a hill and as a family roll down or race to the top. Time each person. Make it a friendly competition and draw up a bracket on a smart phone.
One Saturday each month host the (Your Last Name) family Olympics. A few weeks in advance, have each family member select an event that everyone has to participate in. Compete for family prizes like a night in dad’s chair, bubble bath for a week, choice of chore for the week, or anything else! This could also be something that could be shared with others in the neighborhood. Creating healthy and active traditions like these help ensure fit families for the future.