Synopsis: Family time is precious these days, and that means you need to get as much out of it as possible. You might think you don’t have much time for fitness, but all you need to do is incorporate fitness into family time. It’s not only fun, but it will also benefit every member of the family.
If you want your kids to be sports-loving fitness fanatics, you need to model that behavior for them. It’s no good if you’re simply cheering them on from the sofa, you need to live a healthy life if you want them to, as well. It can be tough changing old habits, but if you want your kids to develop a lifelong love for good health, then it’s important you change your ways too. Here are a few tips to help you make fitness a family priority:
#1: Prioritize spending time outdoors
Time indoors is all too often spent in front of screens, and so it’s important to get out and about as a family. Make sure to spend time outdoors as a family at least once a week. The more time you spend outdoors, the better. The woods, fields and parks aren’t filled with screens and there are no comfy sofas to lounge on. There are no walls to bounce off, and you’ll soon discover all of the benefits that outdoor living can offer your family. The great thing about heading out into the open air is that you don’t really need a plan. Just head out there and see what mother nature has to offer you.
#2: Get the whole family involved
Organize a family barbecue with games for kids and adults. Find a game you think everyone will love; soccer, basketball or volleyball, and make sure the whole family participates. Split into teams, and make sure it’s done fairly. The kids will love it, and you might be surprised to discover that the adults enjoy themselves too. Make sure it’s not a competitive affair; it’s the taking part that counts.
#3: Ditch the car
Most people are aware that environmentalists and health advisors recommend leaving the car at home for journeys of less than a mile, and yet not many people actually do it. Make a pledge that you will start walking more, and get the whole family involved. This could mean walking to school, cycling to the local shops or catching a train to visit friends. It’s all about getting out there and staying active. You might be surprised to find out the difference a brisk 20 minute walk a day can do!
#4: Go swimming
Swimming is lots of fun, and it’s also a really great way to improve your fitness. Whether you live near a beach, indoor or outdoor pool, it’s time to start taking full advantage of it. Make sure the whole family goes, and try to go each and every week. Most children love swimming, and if you make it a regular and enjoyable experience, that love could last a lifetime.
#5: Don’t see it as a chore
If it’s not fun, your children won’t enjoy it. Your attitude has a lot to do with how your children approach things in life. If you see fitness as a chore, your kids won’t want to do it. If you’re passionate about it, and your kids enjoy spending time with you as you get fit as family, then it will be a fun experience for everyone.
#6: Head to the park
Playgrounds are like tiny gymnasiums for kids. Obviously they’re a lot more exciting than real gyms, because not many people get to go down a huge slide halfway through their workout. Parks are a great place for fitness because your kids can climb, run, jump and generally go wild to their hearts’ content in a relatively safe environment. Try adding in an after school visit to your local playground at least one day a week.