As a busy parent, it may be hard to find the time to exercise. Between work, running errands, and spending time with your family, your day is already packed full and working out is the last thing on your mind. So how do you fit it in your schedule? The answer: make it a family activity. Here at the Lafayette Family YMCA we strive to facilitate a community where the whole family can find something fun to stay healthy, be fit and most importantly have fun!
Working out together is the perfect way to get some family bonding time. With all of our hectic, busy schedules, it can be hard to coordinate quality time together. Instead of trying to squeeze a workout in around your family time, combine the two! Pick a fun activity to do with the whole family, while working up a sweat. This is a great way to relieve stress after a long day and benefit your health while having fun with your family.
Exercising together isn’t just important for your family bond, but also for the health of you and your kids. Studies show adults need thirty minutes of physical activity a day, while kids need a full hour. With health risks such as childhood obesity, diabetes, and asthma, there is no better time to get healthy and get moving than now. Plus, it’s summer time. Not only are making fun memories, you’re providing an example for a healthy lifestyle and making exercise a fun activity rather than a chore. Showing your children that working out is important and fun will benefit their health now and in the future. So how do you get started?
Go on pre- or post- dinner walks.
Summer is here, and that means the weather is great for being outside. Take a walk around the neighborhood with the kids, and for even more fun, bring the family dog. Are you more of a runner than a walker? Sign up the whole clan for a family mud run. This is the perfect excuse for you to get your cardio in and let the kids get dirty!
Explore a park.
Indiana is full of state parks with great trails and woods to explore. Keep it low impact with a walking trail, or get adventurous with a hike through some tougher terrain. This is a great way to stay active and enjoy nature together. If you don’t have time to get to a state park, spend time at a local park with play equipment like swing sets and monkey bars. We love our Lafayette community and the many great parks and walking trails that can be found throughout the area. Don’t be afraid to go out and find them!
Play video games.
Yes, really! With game systems like the Wii and Kinect, you can be active indoors. Bust a move with “Just Dance” or see who can win a game of “Bowling.” Wii Fit is the perfect way to channel the kids energy in a fun way. Don’t have a Wii? Even games like “Rock Band” will get the family moving. If your family is not a fan of video games, use commercial breaks to get some activity. Make a fun game or contest out of spending the few minutes of commercials during your favorite show jumping around and moving. Create silly names for simple exercises like squats, push-ups, and sit-ups, and then do them together till the show comes back on. The important thing is to make it interactive and fun for everyone involved!
Make it a weekly event.
Pick a day when you know you’ll all be home together and set up a weekly sports night. Play a game of soccer, throw around the football, or shoot some hoops. Not into sports? Go on a bike ride around the neighborhood. Whatever your children are interested in it, make it a family fitness event each week that you and your kids will look forward to.
Put the kids to work in the yard.
Make chores fun! Let them plant new bulbs and water plants in the garden. When your lawn is covered in leaves during the fall, let the kids help rake them into piles and jumping in them. If it’s particularly windy that day, make a game of catching the flying leaves and see who can gather the most. When winter brings a heavy snowfall, the kids can help clear the driveway or sidewalk. Enjoy this time together by making snow angels, building snowmen, and tossing some snowballs in a snowball fight.
No matter how you incorporate family fitness into your schedule, you’ll benefit from the workout and the quality time spent with your kids. Try one of these tips, or all of them! Your body will thank you – and so will your family.
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