Making family time ‘exercise time’ is a great way to enjoy quality time together while doing something that is active and healthy.
It also demonstrates a positive mind-set to exercise that sets a good example to your children. Having a laugh and loads of fun together shows your children that exercise isn’t hard and can be approached with a healthy attitude.
Just as you would set a chores roster, create a weekly or monthly exercise activity schedule that the entire family is involved in developing and maintaining. Encourage your child to help choose the activities that they would like to participate in – this will stimulate their mind and imagination plus give you good insight into the types of exercise that appeals to them.
Regular family exercise time also doesn’t need to be an added expense to the household budget – many of the best activities are actually free!
- Taking a family bush-walk can be an educating, fun and healthy option as can going for a swim at a local beach.
- Taking toddlers to the local playground facility is also a great way to get them moving from a young age without costing you a cent.
Encourage incidental exercise in your child/children – incidental exercise is the type that isn’t planned or structured, it just happens.
- Instead of choosing the car to take the kids to school or bus stop, opt to walk and make it fun – play I Spy or count the number of houses you pass.
Chores can also also be a source of exercise and fun. If you make the chores seem like a playful activity, kids will be willing to participate.
- Does the garden need weeding or maintaining?
- Have your child involved in washing the family car – in summer this can also be a great way to also cool down from the heat.
The idea is to get your family outside and being active.
Choose birthday and Christmas presents that not only promote an active lifestyle but are a good source of fun for the entire family.
- Bouncing around on a trampoline is lots of fun for little ones as is a ping pong table for slightly older children – plus you can play along too.
- Cheaper options include a cricket set for a backyard game or a basketball hoop.
Birthday parties can become active events in your child’s life.
- Choose healthier options that are lots of fun for them and their friends.
- Rather than go to a fast food restaurant, seek out ice or roller skating rinks that host birthday parties – the kids will have lots of fun and you will also be setting a strong example for other parents and children.
- A cheaper option can be a picnic in the park where kids can play all sorts of games like football or use hula-hoops to get their dose of exercise in.
Family holidays away can also be a good source for exercise time so choose destinations that promote a healthy and active lifestyle.
- Some favourites include camping where you can go on bush-walks together and canoeing to coastal spots where swimming and playing in the sand are options.
There are so many wonderful ways to get your family exercising that once you start planning for it and incorporating it in your life you will soon discover other activities that you can do that aren’t reliant on expensive equipment.
Make family exercise fun and your child will always be ready to do more!