Staying fit with a family
Trying to fit in home workouts, training runs and exercise classes around cooking for the kids and doing the school run can seem like an impossible task. That’s why we’ve written this article – to tell you that you don’t need to try and do that. No, really! A much happier, healthier and more rewarding way to get and stay fit is to do it as a whole family. Here, we will take you through some steps to stay fit, not with a family, but rather, as a family.
Why it’s a big deal
We all know that it’s important to maintain a good weight and fitness levels to help us have the best chance of staying healthy throughout life. Therefore, we have to acknowledge that it is equally important for our children to do the same, and it is down to us to try and make sure they do it. It’s not always easy, but try to start seeing exercise as a necessity for the whole family, rather than an add-on to be fitted around them. Then, you will start to see chances to work it into your everyday routine, and spend more fun time with your children in the process.
The school run
If you’ve ever sat in a queue of traffic waiting 20 minutes to get to the school gates, you’ve probably wondered if there is a better way of doing this, and there almost definitely is. Getting your kids exercising can be as simple as getting the bikes out of the garage, and cycling as a family to and from school. If you fancy a more rigorous workout, you can jog while they meander on their bikes, and making games such as races to certain points can be a great way to keep them interested and motivated. Do this, and you could already be doing 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, the amount recommended by the NHS.
This will probably work better with your energetic eight-year olds than with a teenager who would rather be playing computer games, but turning music up loud and boogying with your kids can be a surprisingly good workout. Choose music that the kids will enjoy too, and get torches or even disco lights to make it feel like more of an event. You’ll all have a lot of fun, and you will be burning off more calories than you realise in the process.
Do a charity event
Signing up to do a charity run or cycle with your kids can be the perfect way to get them keen on exercise. It will give you a reason to get out and exercise, and can also raise money for a brilliant cause. Many bigger marathons and races now run smaller events for children, so you could both enter different parts of a race and compare medals at the end.
Show the kids some simple exercises, such as push-ups, squats or sit-ups, and run a quick boot camp. Work out together, or even take it in turns being the coach, telling one another to ‘push out another 10’. Alternatively, a straightforward game of ‘Follow the Leader’ with aerobic activities can get the whole family exercising within minutes.