Obesity is still the second-leading cause of preventable death in the United States. We all know that sometimes keeping your family fit and healthy is easier said than done. Everyone has different and overlapping schedules with work, school, etc. But taking a moment to organize activities that the whole family can participate in, while keeping active, can be beneficial to everyone. Let’s take a look at how parents can make family fitness fun.
Turn Chores into Contests
One of the best ways to get your kids working out and being productive is to turn daily chores into contests. You can even award prizes when your children reach goals or place high in the rankings. Although there are some activities, such as washing the dishes, that should not be set on a timer, other chores can be fun fitness opportunities.
Mowing the lawn, for example, can be one chore that gets your kids going. By telling them to collect as many large rocks as they can find or other large debris from the yard, they can count or weigh the fruits of their labors for a reward. By removing large debris from the yard, you can safely mow the grass without damaging your blades.
Another activity may be dusting the house or cleaning the floors. Like the Karate Kid movie, it may not seem like a lot of fun at first to wax on and wax off, but if you turn it into a contest that rewards kids who clean the best, you can finish with happy campers and a cleaner home.
Create Backyard Adventures
One good idea is to create an obstacle course in the backyard. You can make this safe and challenging by using soft materials, such as used tires, cardboard, and foam. Depending on the age of your children, you can also incorporate rope swings, a small mud pit, and other obstacles that they can get a little dirty in. By timing how fast each child can make it through the obstacle course and even getting them to invite friends over for some real competition, the fitness potential can grow very serious.
Take a Family Hike
You’ve heard the expression, “Go take a hike!” Well, now you can go take a hike at any of the local or regional parks with your family to start building balance, coordination, stamina, survival skills, and strength. By forcing the entire family to make it to the end of a trail, it ensures that everyone is getting a good workout in.
Have a Family Gym Day
Although many gyms do not have the space for entire families to work out together in private, comfortable settings, you can usually rent time and space at the YMCA. Having a party every couple of weeks and playing games in the gymnasiums, such as basketball, swimming, and even aerobic classes can help to pull the family together into a fitness spirit while still having fun.
Invest in a Swimming Pool
Swimming is one of the best total-body exercises for the whole family. Everyone from babies to grandparents can enjoy swim-time together.
If the temperature in your region is hospitable most of the year, you may want to invest in an outdoor pool for home and go to a gym or fitness club for swimming in the winter. Having your own home pool is great because it becomes a place to have fun and relax even on days when you don’t feel like swimming hard laps.
Of course, an indoor pool is an excellent choice if you have the money and space to afford one. You can also check out endless swimming pools. Endless swimming pool allows your family members to swim in a perpetual loop as if the pool was much larger than it really is. This is like a treadmill for your home when you don’t have space for a track. Most of the endless pools also offer hot tub jets to relax after your swim. This kills two birds with one stone.
Another good idea may be to go down to the local track or another open area for a family jog every few days. Jogging is fun because everyone can improve their stamina and speed as they progress.
If you can push your heart rate up and deplete your oxygen levels, the body will even burn calories when you are at rest. This is why sprint running is highly encouraged and can be fit into any lifestyle. If there is a boardwalk nearby, this is an even better place to sprint run because the impact on the joints is greatly reduced.