It is no secret that most people nowadays need more exercise. Turn on the TV or pick up a magazine and you will see dozens of ads, interviews, and articles talking about obesity, diabetes, the latest diet crazes, and ways to work out in a short time.
It is also not a secret that many people struggle to spend time with their families. Many parents feel they are not connected to their kids or spouse the way they would like to be.
It is not surprising that we struggle to balance and maintain different areas of our lives with the hectic pace in which we live. Luckily, family time and exercise are two things that can easily be combined. Many people think of exercise as something that has to be formally done in a gym. However, there are many laid-back ways to increase your movement that can be done with the whole family.
Here are some exercise ideas:
- Go for a walk or bike ride as a family after dinner
- Play a game of catch and as each person throws the ball they share something- about their day or week, something they enjoy, something they would like to do with the family, etc.
- Plan active family outings rather than dinners out or trips to the movies- go bowling, fly a kite, play put-put golf or disc golf, find local trails to hike
- Buy enough jump ropes for the whole family and have jumping competitions and learn jump rope games
- Find online guided dance videos to try as a family. Check out gonoodle.com!
- Try Geocaching- www.geocaching.com
- Head to a new playground each weekend and talk about which was everyone’s favorite
- Rent paddle boards or canoes at a local lake or park
- Play a game or four square in the drive way or kickball in the backyard or at a park
- Purchase cheap equipment such as a frisbee, a badminton set, a volleyball, etc.
- Play “Red Light- Green Light” or Tag
- Create your own scavenger hunt for your neighborhood, a park, or hiking trail
- Even if you do not have basketball or soccer goals at home kick or bounce the ball back and forth or practice dribbling drills
- Find state and city parks near you and look into events they hold
- During holidays, walk around the neighborhood to see all the decorations
- Do a five to ten warm up as a family in the morning and a five to ten minute stretch and cool down before bed
Get creative and try to find everyday ways to increase you and your family’s movement. Keep things simple and just find ways to move and play together. Shift your view of what the word exercise means and you’ll see more opportunities to do it!