It can be a
challenge getting your family off the couch and away from their smart devices
to exercise and stay healthy. And it definitely won’t help when you are barking
orders and exercise routines at them.
It can also be
quite daunting to create an entire fitness routine for your family and have
them stick to it. So why not incorporate exercise into your everyday life
without qualifying for a diploma in military leadership?
Here are five
easy – and fun – ways to get your family off the couch and fit family exercise
time into your all-too-busy schedules.
early can mean two things – doing light exercises in the morning when you feel
energised and not drained at the end of a long day, and getting your kids off
the couch and fit at a young age to build a routine and something they enjoy.
But if you are
not a morning person and the thought of getting out of bed sends shockwaves
through your body, you can opt for exercising later in the day.
published in the Journal of Strength
& Conditioning Research shows that strength and flexibility are at its
optimum in the late afternoon and the perception of how hard your body is
actually working is at its lowest.
have a great imagination at younger ages and you can use this to your
advantage. You could ask them to create fun games – the sky is the limit! And
because they have to create the game and design the rules, they are more likely
to get up and play – provided that at the end of the day they are doing some
form of exercise, even if it is just running around in the backyard.
Ditch the car ride for walks
Walking is an
underrated form of exercise. Whether you are going to pick your child up from
school, visiting a friend, or taking your dog for a walk, having a goal in mind
and building a routine ensures that you won’t put it off for ‘another time’.
You can also
plan a weekly family walk in the evenings when the sun is not blazing and when
everyone has returned home from work and school. This is a great time to bond
with your family, catch up on the week’s happenings, forget about chores and
stress for a while and have fun.
A study has shown
that walking does not only improve your cardiovascular fitness but it also
significantly increases blood flow to the brain. So why not walk your way to a
better physical and mental health.
Turn up the music and dance
Dancing is a
full-body workout and it could be quite fun at the end of the day. Freestyle
dancing and dancing for fun makes your heart pump blood faster throughout your
body, increasing your breathing rate, as well as working your muscles.
There is no
specific style or form of dance to get fit, just as long as your body is moving
and you are energised throughout the activity.
stimulation and encouragement to keep moving. You could have a family dance
evening in the lounge or TV room or kitchen while preparing a meal – there are
plenty of options.
Create friendly competition
There is not
much that gets people motivated than some friendly family competition and, of
course, a reward at the end of the competition. Who will reign victorious?
The best way to
get the entire family involved is to ask each family member to come up with a
specific exercise to do and challenge the rest of the family to do it. At the end
of the competition each family member should have (or attempted to) complete
each challenge and you can decide on the prize for the winner – such as picking
the next challenge or sitting out of one of the challenges next time.
The best part is
that you are in the comfort of your own home and do not need to worry about
embarrassing yourself or being shy in the gym because Mom can’t do 10 push-ups…
despair, your fitness levels will improve with time.
If you are sure
that your family will stick to an exercise routine and you won’t be wasting
money, invest in some exercise equipment you can use at home.
include: fabric-covered dumbbells, jumping rope, elastic bands or tubing, a
punching bag, medicine balls, an exercise mat, and a minimalist treadmill (to
name a few).
can also put a dent in your wallet and it is generally overcrowded. Not to
mention that exercising is a commitment but if you are motivated to work out,
but not motivated enough to sign up for a gym membership, investing in
equipment is your best option.
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