Depending on your lifestyles, your family fitness goals may include a variety of targets, including losing weight, improving your general health and well-being, as well as increasing your physical activity levels and just having more fun together!
The key to swapping the sedentary sofa regimes for healthier, more active habits, is to make sure these activities involve fun family time and can be undertaken by everyone in the family, regardless of their age or fitness ability.
While we may make excuses for not always being able to find the time to train and exercise each week, spending time together as a family is something most of us value as essential.
Try and combine the two by making fitness and activity a priority and instilling a love for exercise in the kids from a young age. This could range from swimming together, walking more, bike rides and even hosting regular dance parties in the lounge.
If you’re fortunate enough to live within walking distance of your child’s school, or can walk to work, then why not do so? Walking regularly helps to improve your sleep and your mood, as well as increasing focus and reducing stress. It’ll also help promote long-term healthy family exercise habits and saves you from getting stuck in rush hour traffic.
You can even extend this to your supermarket shop, particularly if you’re only picking up a few mid-week essentials. Use it as an excuse to leave the car at home and walk to the shops as a family instead.
Go to the Park
Visiting the local park offers a whole host of fitness fun for both kids and adults. Raise your pulse and heart rate by pushing the kids on the swings, running around playing football or even jumping around the basketball court.
Swimming is great fun and is also a cost-effective way to improve your fitness and activity levels. Primarily aimed at families and young adults, family fun swim sessions provide a great outlet for building small children’s water confidence to complement the skills they learn in their swimming lessons. The pool is also filled a colourful assortment of inflatables for everyone to enjoy.
Cycling provides a scenic and superb low-impact family fitness workout, meaning you’ll burn around 300 calories an hour as a group. To hit the road all you need is a bike, a helmet and a water bottle.
Depending on where you live, a few rides around your local area should help you all build or maintain your physical fitness. Vary your route as you begin to get more familiar with your neighbourhood.
Are there any fitness classes or regimes you particularly enjoy such as BODYPUMP or circuits? You might want to try adapting some of the moves into a pint-size friendly workout, so you can show the kids what it actually involves and why you like it so much.
Dance like no-one is Watching
Move your furniture aside and let the kids play DJ by turning your living room into your very own dance party. You’ll all have hours of endless family fitness fun, dancing, miming and singing the words to each other’s favourite songs. You can even draw the curtains and take it in turns flashing a torch to create some cool lighting effects. You might even pick up a move or two from each other!
Many of us book our kids onto after school activities such as swimming lessons or gymnastics. While your child is at the class and childcare is taken care of, you may want to squeeze in a quick workout of your own. Perhaps you could opt for a quick gym session or take part in an exercise class.
Pick Some Treats
Although this isn’t possible throughout the whole year, fruit picking is fantastic way to have fun and exercise with family members. You’ll all enjoy a day out in the sunshine sampling delicious fresh fruit. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries should all be able to pick/buy from your local farm shop or picking field.
Cook up a Storm
Family fitness and nutrition go hand in hand. It can, however, sometimes be a bit tricky to get the kids excited about eating healthily. Turn it into a family fitness activity by choosing a new recipe as a family and shopping for the ingredients. When you return get everyone involved by cooking together, including helping to chop up the veg and washing up!