Family Fun – Fitness Games and Workouts for the Whole Family
Getting the whole family to exercise together can be a challenge, but with the right games and workouts it’s possible to make it fun and turn it from a chore into something the whole family looks forward to.
Let’s take a look at some activities you can try today!
1. Family Favourites
If you’re unsure where to start, try taking a game your family already loves and giving it a fitness twist. For example, if your family likes UNO, try assigning an exercise to each colour and doing that exercise every time the colour is played. If you’re more of a scrabble family, each time someone scores points with a word, they can choose another player and make them do that number of jumping jacks.
2. Games in the Neighbourhood
If you live on a quiet street or near a park, there are energetic activities you can easily do whenever the weather allows it. These include…
- Running with your kids, or running while they ride bikes.
- Timed sprints.
- Playpark (many parks now have public, gym-style play parks for adults and children).
- Brisk walking.
- Alternating between skipping and jumping jacks.
- Dance party.
- Sprints up and down your street, little ones tally times gone.
- Freeze tag (jog in place when frozen).
- Relay races (frog jumps, crab walk, wheelbarrow, etc).
- Family bike ride (very young kids can ride in a trailer or bike seat).
3. Sports Clubs
Many sports clubs and leisure centres will have facilities designed for families to come along and work out together. If your kids like rules and competition, they may enjoy taking up a family sport like these:
- Swim laps at the pool.
- Trampoline tricks.
4. Hula Hooping
Hula hooping is great fun for kids, but it’s also a really good workout which makes it the ideal activity for family fitness. Your kids can use the basic light plastic hoop and have fun just trying to keep them up. Meanwhile, parents can get hoops that weigh a few pounds, and keeping these up will work out all of your body’s main muscle groups. Regular use of a hula hoop is a complete aerobic workout which strengthens the muscles in your pelvis, back and belly.
5. Exercising on the Way
Whether you’re heading to a sports event, the supermarket, library or your child’s school, try to get there on bike or on foot. Instead of heading right for the television, go for a 30-minute family walk after dinner. Try to cover a greater distance each week by tracking everyone’s steps with a pedometer. Track your progress with colourful stickers on a chart, and pin it on the fridge or somewhere similar so everyone can see it.
Health and Fitness Work Best with Routine
It’s common to suffer from any number of different issues if you aren’t able to adopt some form of routine in your life. Your health can be greatly improved by having a routine, and that goes for your exercise as well as your daily life. What’s better for your health than a workout? Lots of workouts! Human beings are creatures of habit whether we like it or not.
When it comes to promoting fitness and good health in your daily life, routine and planning play a key role. Most importantly of all, a lack of strong routine can allow the procrastinator in you to take over. If we aren’t able to introduce this structure, we may struggle with the following problems:
- Unhealthy diet – If you don’t have time scheduled for a weekly shop, you may well find yourself falling back on fast food or ready meals. You need to eat, and if you haven’t given thought to it before you get hungry, a quick and unhealthy substitute can quickly sneak in.
- Worry and anxiety – A lack of structure can make us disorganised, leading to more time worrying about all the things we need to do but don’t have time for.
- Difficulty sleeping – If you’re worried about the work you need to do during the day, this won’t always stop at bedtime. Stress can make it really difficult to sleep.
Once you have a routine in place it’s much easier to motivate yourself to do things that are easily put off. Having a strong sense of routine helps you to get out of the habit of cancelling plans because you “don’t feel like it”. This is important because if you’re allowed to say no because you don’t feel like it, your children will recognise the injustice if they aren’t allowed to say no for the same reason.
It’s your responsibility to teach your kids that good health is important, whether you feel like it or not. You can also teach them that routines aren’t just about making yourself do things you don’t want to do, but are also great for making sure you have time to do the things you do want to do.