Fitting Fitness Into Your Family’s Routine

A lot of families think that in order to get in shape, they have to spend hours at the gym doing various exercises. Although gyms and fitness centers are great options, they aren’t required in order to get in shape. Some people can’t afford these options while others get intimidated at the thought of having to work out in front of a bunch of other people. If either of these situations relate to your family, it’s okay. All you need to do is start out taking small steps to work fitness into your family’s routine. Below are some tips to help you get started.

Look Around and Take Advantage of Your Surroundings – If most people would only look around, they’d see a lot of opportunities for exercise around them. For instance, taking the stairs instead of an elevator, walking a little further in a parking lot, riding a bike to visit a neighbor or going on a walk with the family.

Plan It Out – If you want physical fitness to become an ingrained part of your family’s routine, you have to plan it out. Otherwise, you’re likely to waste your day away in front of the computer, television or even cleaning or reading a book. Therefore, think about the time you will have to spend with your family this week and plan fun physical activities to do together during some of these times. For example, you could all go on a hike, walk, outside to play Frisbee or a number of other things. Make sure you plan these family activities on a weekly basis to ensure they become routine.

Have Fun – When you begin searching for things to do during the “off” times of all your family members, make sure you plan fun activities that everyone will enjoy. Things like playing tag, backyard soccer, bad-mitten, etc. are all fun games. Also, consider when you are going to do these activities. Some games are better played after dinner while other are perfectly fine to play before dinner. You can also play interactive video games now too for exercise!

Interests are Important – Take time to think about each member of your family and what they enjoy…as well as activities that everyone has fun doing together. When choosing family activities, it’s important that everyone finds them fun and interesting as this keeps motivation up. Here’s an example: If you have two kids and they both love airplanes, consider making paper airplanes or purchasing toy airplanes for them to race outside. This can be fun as everyone will be chasing them!

Another example is to plan a family trail ride if your family enjoys horses. Or, you can all sign up for karate lessons if you recently watched “The Karate Kid” and all enjoyed it. Basically, look for any interest that can be turned into a physical activity. This will ensure everyone has fun and stays motivated.

More in our Fitness Series

Tips for Creating a Family Fitness program
10 Ideas for getting your family active
Fitness Tips for Kids
Fitting Fitness Into Your Family’s Routine
Tips for getting kids active
Why Fitness is important to children
How to teach kids healthy habits