When time is limited it’s hard to try to squeeze in a fitness routine. You want to have fun with your kids in whatever spare time you have, so exercising often gets left on the back burner. But there are actually plenty of fitness-filled activities you can enjoy as a family. Maximize the time you have with your kids with these 10 fun – and inexpensive – ideas for staying fit and healthy together.
10 Ways to Stay Fit with Your Kids
- Walk Around the Block. Walking is a wonderful family activity. It allows you to catch up on the day while getting in some low-impact exercise. Walking around the block is also a great way to get to know the neighborhood and even connect with your neighbors.
- Go Swimming. If you live near a lake or beach, why not spend hot days cooling off in the water? If you’re landlocked, a lot of townships have public pools that you can use either for free or for a very small fee with proof of residency. You can also look for indoor pools so that you can enjoy swimming year-round. Check out your town’s website or youth and recreation center to find out what amenities might be available to residents in your town.
- Plant a Garden. Believe it or not gardening is actually great exercise. Keeping a garden will also help the kids to learn responsibility and gain a sense of accomplishment as they tend to the garden and watch it grow.
- Establish a Sports Night. Choose a night once a week for playing sports as a family. You can play in the yard or go to a local park. Rotate between basketball, football, tennis, soccer, baseball, volleyball, roller hockey, etc. to mix things up each week. If you have a full day, get a few families together and hold a “Family Olympics” to really ignite some friendly competition.
- Join a Gym. If your kids are old enough to work out with you, this can be an opportunity to get into a good fitness routine together. Many gyms and recreation centers, such as your local YMCA, offer a military discount to help keep costs down.
- Play Hopscotch & Jump Rope. Young children love these games so much they don’t even realize what a good workout they’re getting from them. Join them in the fun!
- Create a Bike Adventure. Find a local bike trail, and go on a family bike ride. Play games like “I Spy” to keep it interesting and really take in the scenery.
- Wash the Car. This one sounds like a chore, but it can actually be a lot of fun. When it’s just too hot to go hiking or biking, take out the sponges and the hose to cool off. Play some music and have a freeze dance competition to work in some more exercise.
- Do Yoga. Yoga is a workout for body and mind, and kids of all ages can enjoy it. Practice your poses and breathing outside to take in the beauty of nature as well. Not sure where to start? Here are some simple poses that are perfect for kids.
- Play Pretend. Kids love to play. Pretend that you are all animals at the zoo and crawl/walk like the animals, or that the ground is lava and jump from object to object, or that you are giants and take big strides around the yard. All of these games help stretch and strengthen muscles. But they are so much fun, you won’t even think about the fitness benefits as you’re playing.
Whether your children are toddlers or teens, there are plenty of physical activities that you can do together as a family. Use these easy tips to get moving, have fun, and help your kids develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime.