Finding enough time to exercise amid the chaos of family life can be tricky. But just because you can’t make it to the gym doesn’t mean you have to miss a workout. Try adding some incidental fitness into family time. Exercising as a family can be fun, cost effective and easier than you might think. It will help you add more movement into your week, up those steps on the Fitbit and get the kids moving too: win-win! In fact, the University of Cambridge found that kids were 10 per cent more likely to work out if their parents were active. With more than 1 in 4 Aussie kids now classed as overweight or obese, any chance to pick up a skipping rope rather than a remote is a positive swap. Why not try some (or all!) of these fun ideas to get the whole family up and moving:
After dinner delight
Make the most of cooler evenings and take a walk around the block after dinner rather than flopping on the couch to watch TV. Your waistline will be thankful for the extra steps and it’s a great time to relax and chat as a family. The kids will love exploring their world at dusk and you can even encourage them to spot nocturnal animals. Being mini Dr Dolittles can add to the fun.
In it to win it
As competitive creatures, nothing will encourage exercise more than a challenge. A step counter and simple track chart will get everyone moving and the little ones will love it if daily milestones come with a special reward. They’ll also get a kick out of seeing their name alongside mum’s and dad’s.
Doing the school shuffle
Sounds simple, but starting the day with a stroll will put the whole family in a happy mood. If you’re lucky enough to live within walking distance of your child’s school it’s an easy habit to master. But if you’re a little further out, consider parking a block away and taking an extra 10 minutes to walk away the morning stress. Extra points for hopping or skipping!
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Turn screen time into fitness time
Get instructional. Love them or loathe them, screens are a part of our daily lives so why not use them to get the kids up and moving? YouTube is a hot spot for healthy tutorials (from exercise explanations to dance routines). Pinterest can also be a great spot for home exercise routine infographics.
Gamify. Gaming consoles now feature body motion tracking technology and wearable tech can connect right to your smartphone. Activity trackers can be a great incentive for the whole family to keep active. Introduce a bit of friendly competition and keep a family leaderboard of steps for the week.
Make them earn it. If your kids are moaning to stay on their screens, make them work out for it. Try equal active time for equal screen time. It doesn’t have to be anything too crazy—get them to walk the dog or kick a ball around in the park—just as long as it involves getting moving.It may be hard to resist joining in too!