Getting more active with your family is a fantastic way of improving your fitness, spending more time together and having a lot of fun into the bargain! Whatever your priorities, whether it’s weight loss, improving your family’s general health and well-being or anything else, it all helps. That’s why we’ve come up with some brilliant family fitness ideas that you can enjoy together, either at home or while you’re out and about.
The key to swapping the sedentary sofa regimes for healthier, more active habits, is to make sure they’re fun. You also need to make sure everyone in the whole family can take part, regardless of age or fitness level.
1. Family Fitness
Now that the kids are back to school and most of us are back to work, whether that’s working from home, or in the workplace, we might make excuses or revert to old habits. We may say we don’t have the time to exercise or to train. But for most of us, family time is something we have learnt to appreciate even more and see as essential.
Why not combine the two? Make fitness and activity a priority and instil a love for exercise in the kids from a young age. This could range from walking more, taking more bike rides and even hosting regular dance parties in the lounge.
2. Walk Everywhere
If it’s safe and 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 the school drop off queue/zone and rush hour traffic when the kids are back at school.
You can even extend this to your supermarket shop, particularly if you’re only picking up a few essentials. Use it as an excuse to leave the car at home and walk to the shops.
3. Go to the Park
Visiting the park offers a whole host of family fitness fun for both kids and adults. Raise your pulse and heart rate by running around playing football or even jumping around the basketball court. Many parks also have exciting places to explore and are great for everyone to enjoy a bike ride – especially if the weather is playing ball and the sun’s out. The open spaces mean you can let you and your family’s imagination run wild and just enjoy yourselves. Why not make a day of it and enjoy a healthy picnic while you’re there?
4. Bike Ride
Cycling provides a scenic and superb low-impact family fitness workout, meaning you’ll burn around 300 calories an hour as a group. Many towns and cities have several bike lanes and cycle routes to help keep the public healthy and safe.
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.
5. Social Media Session
During lockdown and while our centres were closed, we were helping our members get their exercise fix by hosting a variety of live workouts on our social media pages. Although we have slightly reduced our online schedule since our centres have re-opened, we still continue to hold the classes for our members that aren’t quite ready to return to the gym.
6. Mini-Me Workout
Want to stay active but aren’t quite ready to hit the gym again and are juggling childcare and other priorities? Have a think if there any fitness classes or regimes you particularly enjoy such as BODYPUMP or circuits. You might want to take on the role of the family’s personal trainer and try adapting some of the moves into a child-friendly workout. You can show the kids what it involves and why you like it so much.
7. Dance like no-one is Watching
This is one our favourite kids activities, 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!
8. Pick Some Treats
Although this is usually seasonal, fruit picking is fantastic way to have fun and exercise with family members. You’ll all enjoy a day out in the sunshine (this isn’t guaranteed, however…) sampling delicious fresh fruit. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries should all be able to pick/buy from your local farm shop or picking field.
9. Cook up a Storm
Now that the kids are back to school the majority will be switching back to packed lunches school meals. But it’s still important to remind the kids that family fitness and nutrition go hand in hand, especially when staying at home during the evenings and weekends.
Many of us maximised on this by experimenting with new recipes and sampling different ingredients during lockdown. If you this isn’t something you’ve tried already, why not turn into a family activity and get the kids involved – it’s an excellent way to get them excited about eating healthy and trying fresh flavours.
Start by selecting a recipe together and get everyone to help along the way, including with chopping the veg, setting the table and washing up.