3 Fun Activities for Family Fitness
When it comes to fitness, the family that plays together gets tons of benefits together. Experts have noted that parents are the number-one source of how children feel about living a healthy lifestyle. Exercising together reinforces family bonds and creates new family traditions.
Teaming up with a partner or spouse can also benefit a romantic relationship, some research has suggested. In one study, couples who did physical activities together reported feeling more satisfied and in love.
Put all those good vibes to work by stepping up for family fitness. Getting started or shaking up your existing routine is just a matter of getting creative. Here are three suggestions:
1. Obstacle Courses
The rise in popularity of obstacle-type races and TV shows pairs well with kids’ natural inclination to want to have fun while working out. Although some kids (and adults) do fine with running around a track for an hour, many others might prefer to switch it up, and that’s where an obstacle course can come in handy.
One fun idea is to create your own course as a family. Each person can be in charge of two or three “obstacles,” and then you can take turns running through the course. You don’t need an expansive backyard for this, either—courses can be created in a living room or a public park, with minimal props. You may be surprised at how creative your kids can get when it comes to thinking up obstacles, and that’s all part of the enjoyment.
2. Cross-Country Run and Bouldering
Hiking is always an engaging pursuit, and getting kids more connected to nature is a worthwhile endeavor. Boost the fitness aspect by turning an ordinary hike into a trail run—based on the safety of the trail, of course. Flatter trails without many roots or rocks can be great for a steady, family run.
You can also incorporate simple rock climbing into the mix if you’re in a park that has some rocky areas. There’s no need for ropes and harnesses; just try some basic rock scrambles that are close to the ground. This will give everyone in the family a full-body workout while still being safe.
Other good tips for staying safe while mixing in climbing include going as a group with other families, turning the event into a safety lesson about outdoor dangers, and possibly starting in a gym before heading into outdoor outings.
3. Youth Classes
Sometimes, you want to work out but feel hesitant about parking your kids in daycare where they either sit around for the entire time or are simply let loose in a gym without any structured fitness time.
The solution could be youth fitness classes that give your child skills that will last a lifetime, such as Youth Muay Thai, yoga, Youth MMA, or even a boot-camp-type of class tailored for kids, like Youth D.U.T.
As you begin to involve the whole family in fitness together, it’s likely that you’ll see more and more benefits—from an increased interest in healthy eating to a stronger sense of cohesion as a family.