Exercise has undeniable benefits for everyone. Regardless of age, we all stand to benefit physically and even mentally from regular exercise. Adults can look forward to a reduced risk of obesity and diseases like hypertension and heart disease as well as a generally healthier outlook. Studies have shown that children gain a performance boost in school learning when they exercise regularly.
There are many reasons you might want to involve your entire family in your exercise regimen. You might consider it a fun way to spend time together. Maybe it is meant to be way to get your kids away from television and computer screens. You might find that a healthy workout during the day helps the children fall asleep more easily, and leaves the grownups with more time to themselves. Or maybe you just feel that everyone could use some fitness improving workouts. These are all good reasons to engage in exercise as a family, and here are some great ones to help you get started.
Take a Brisk Stroll
Walking is the simplest form of exercise available to the entire family. It can be done anywhere and it is a great way for kids to learn their way around their neighbourhood. You can take a stroll around the neighbourhood or just from one end of the street to the other with kids very easily. You can make walking the dog a family affair. Or you can simply make walking the basic means of transportation to destinations that are not too far away. Spend the evenings on family walks before or after dinner rather than wasting time watching TV or playing games.Walking yields health benefits like increased cardiovascular fitness and weight loss. The exposure to fresh air and sunlight will also do the whole family a whole lot of good. You may wish to incorporate games like spotting objects or animals to make it more fun for the kids.
Go Biking More Often
Biking is a fun way for all ages to experience the outdoors. It brings benefits to cardiovascular health and vastly improves muscle tone in the arms, legs and abdominal muscles. It is also a great source of stress relief as it improves the mental and physical health of the entire family. As with walking, you can bike almost anywhere with kids that are old enough. Just make sure you practise and teach your kids about the importance of bike safety. Biking is guaranteed to increase the family’s sense of well-being and the group activity aspect of it is sure to bring the entire family closer together. You can even use a pedometer to track everyone’s progress and add a sense of accomplishment to the exercise.
Sports and Games
Sports are another great way to get your family exercising. They are also an effective way of building teamwork and teaching healthy competition. Sports like basketball, softball, or football will help your entire family improve their fitness but you don’t need to keep it confined to organized sports either. You can play fun games like Twister or Red Light, Green Light to get your whole family moving, or go for an interactive simulated game like tennis or golf. You can try just throwing a ball or a frisbee around in the park, jump rope, or tag. If you live in a close-knit neighbourhood, you can even try to get some other families involved. All of these will get the family moving and inching closer to full fitness. As an additional benefit, the children will be able to improve their motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination.
Dancing is a great way to get an effective aerobic workout. It’s fun and engaging for the entire family, and has lots of health benefits like improved muscle tone and strength, improved condition of the heart and lungs, stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis, better coordination, agility and flexibility, and many more. Enroll the entire family in a dance class, incorporate singing and dancing into every house chore, or simply play one of the many dancing videogames with your kids.
Take the Family for a Swim
Swimming can strengthen the cardiovascular system, improve joint mobility and flexibility and strengthen the muscles. It is one of the best full body workouts that can be prescribed and is appropriate for the entire family as it is free or restrictions like weight, age (provided your child is at least three months old). It can also be ridiculously fun, and kids tend to form social relationships while performing such activities. There is no shortage of leisure centres that are open year round and have swimming pools as well as swimming instructors. Ensure that everyone observes proper safe swimming practices and carry safety gears as needed.
Create Fun out of Chores
There are many benefits to having your children engage in chores as soon as they are old enough to be trusted with them. They learn basic physical and mental skills, as well as responsibility and self-reliance. And with the right chores, you can even get a good workout for everybody. But chores can often be boring for an adult, let alone a child’s easily distractible mind. Spice it up with games like turning laundry into a race where the winner is whoever gathers the most dirty laundry. Or in autumn, you can have them race to rake the most leaves into a pile.
Make Your Next Holiday an Active One
If you have kids that are old enough, why not plan your next vacation around physical activity? You can find travel destinations built around one or more physical activities, like swimming, skiing, hiking, mountain climbing, or scavenger hunts. You will even have the added bonus of gaining new experiences for you and your family.
Encouraging an active lifestyle in your children’s early years is important, and as always you should lead by example. By adopting one or more of these forms of exercise you can be sure to end up with a happier and healthier family. The quality time spent with your family is equally valuable, considering how tight our schedules can be. You can set specific goals while still being flexible with specific times for the workout to get around busy work and school schedules.