A Fit Family Affair
You’ve undoubtedly heard how integral exercise is to your self-care regime, and while it provides an easy outlet for restorative me-time, it can be a conflict for moms who don’t always want to trade quality time with their families. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be an either/or choice! Here are 4 ways to incorporate your family and get everyone moving more:
Take a Class
There are a number of reasons group fitness classes are a great idea. There is a different energy when you’re in a room of people all working hard; whether it’s strength training, yoga, or kickboxing, you’ll challenge yourself just a bit more when you aren’t alone. You also have the luxury of letting someone else take charge. Instead of figuring out how many reps to do, what weight to use, or what exercise to do next, all you have to do is follow the lead of a certified pro!
Lastly, classes have a start and end time, making it easy to put on your calendar. Taking a class with your family is the perfect way to bond with them while not being the one telling them what to do. It gives you all a set weekly time to spend together, and each can challenge themselves at their own level. Signing up for lessons is another way to stay moving as a family. Brush up on an old sport you haven’t played in years and your kids haven’t played, or do something out of everyones comfort zone by taking a hip hop dance class!
Create a Challenge
Let your creativity flow with this one! You could create an obstacle course in the back yard (or house if you have the space!) and compete for individual time or teams (especially fun on big family vacations or holidays). Circuit training is another option. Set up stations – you don’t need equipment, bodyweight exercises like pushups, burpees, squats, and lunges are perfect – and track total time or how many reps of each exercise everyone can get done in a set amount of time.
Make a weeklong challenge where you see who can do the most pushups, burpees, situps, etc. over the course of the week. Play an active game like tag, wheel barrow relay, or card draw (assign an exercise for each suit and draw; spades could be jumping jacks so a 10 of spades means everyone does 10 jumping jacks). Make an obstacle course out of playground equipment and even get your kids’ friends involved!
Have a Destination
Make exercise the side effect of a fun day. Take a bike ride to a local hot spot or end with a picnic, walk the long route to the park and include sections of long jumps, side shuffles and squat jumps as you go, or go on a hike! Picking a destination or fun activity to do when you arrive is a reward to everyone for exercising AND family time. In all honesty, bike rides with my husband often end with ice cream, but at least we’re doing something active before indulging in a double scoop of butter pecan!
You likely have a show – or shows – the whole family looks forward to and watch religiously. This is often seen as family time, so instead of cutting off the tube, incorporate some movement around this time. Decide on a theme for that show and do corresponding exercises during each commercial break – or if you DVR or watch via Netflix, pick a trigger like voting discussions in challenge shows or fight scenes in an action series. For example, if the theme is legs, you can do squats during the first commercial, a wall sit during the next and alternating lunges during another. Here is a core themed workout to try out:
While you’ll still have workouts you prefer to do on your own, incorporating at least one family centered session a week makes a big difference in the eyes of not only your family, but how you view exercise. It keeps it fun, and puts your goals in perspective. Getting your family to workout with you is great for them physically, and helps them understand that exercise can be fun and is a part of a healthy life.
Do you incorporate your family in your workouts? Tell us how in the comments!