Need some family fitness inspiration? These 11 easy ideas will help get everyone in your family moving, and make sure you all stay happy and healthy long-term.
Keeping your family active and healthy is one of the best gifts you can give them. There are so many ways to make sure the whole crew stay in tip-top shape, with minimal effort.
Here are just a few of our favourite ideas!
1. Disguise Your Sweat Sessions
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book – head to a park and throw a Frisbee around, shoot some hoops, go on cycle adventures, complete a dance class or fitness DVD together, play a board game with the winner choosing that day’s workout, or just put on your favourite music and jump around a bit!
2. Start a Post-Dinner tradition
Taking a short walk together immediately after dinner is a nice way to connect and get some fresh air. Research also points to a 15-minute post-meal stroll being the perfect way to stabilise blood sugar levels and aid digestion. Triple win!
3. Choose fitness or health-oriented gifts with your family member’s interests in mind
Rather than whipping out another box of choccies or a DVD set, give gifts that promote a healthy lifestyle. If Dad loves barbecues, a lean BBQ cookbook might do the trick. If Mum loves walking or running, a tracker tool like the Fitbit Charge HR will help her kick some goals and keep on top of her progress. If your siblings love video games, choose one that keeps them moving and on their feet, like Wii’s Active Life Outdoor Challenge game. So much fun!
4. Pretend you’re a family of superheroes and use “Muscle Power” to get around whenever possible
Putting a fantasy twist on getting around without the car makes every outing a lot more fun. Turn on your superhero powers and cycle, walk or run to as many places as you can, as quickly as you can – to the shops, school and to visit friends.
5. Play Shopping Bag Tag
I love this game! You can play with any number of people and the basic principle is that only one person can run at a time, with only one bag per run, from the car to the kitchen bench in a relay format. Simply set a timer at the start and race to complete the job, making sure you cheer each other on. At the end, divide the total number of seconds you took as a team by the number of bags you had to carry, to equal your average time per bag. Try and beat your record each time you bring home the shopping!
6. TV Time Turns Healthy
Time spent in the TV room doesn’t have to be put in the ‘evil’ basket. Make the TV room a no-food zone to avoid mindless snacking, and try getting active every ad break by taking it in turns to pick 2 exercises that everyone watching the show has to do 10-15 repetitions of when an ad break hits. Or go hardcore and just choose one exercise to repeat continually until your show comes back on!
7. Garage or Backyard Circuits
Set a ‘circuit date’ every week and anyone home attends. Everyone picks one exercise and you’ll then set those up in a circuit format, completing each move for 60s for the first round, then 45s for the second round, then 30s and finally 20s. If there are less than 4 people in your family, choose 2 stations per person. No exercise is too ridiculous – from bouncing up and down to push-ups, skipping rope, sprinting, lunges, or jumping on the trampoline, anything goes!
8. Enter a fun run or fitness event for charity, then train for it together
A shared goal to work towards is so much more fun than just flying solo. As a family, decide on a charity you’d love to support and then enter a fun run event that allows you to raise money for them. You don’t have to choose an intimidating event – events like the Mother’s Day Classic, Colour Run or the Spartan Race are a great start. When you’re ready, move on to bigger challenges, like City2Surf, CoastTrek, or Tough Mudder!
9. A Family of Adventurers
Make a point of hunting down new adventures to go on every few weeks. Trips to nearby National Parks with picnic food stashed in your backpacks, guided canoe trips, learning to surf, or hiking to a new camp spot will keep you bonded and fit. Give your crew of adventurers a name too – a good friend of mine got his brothers and friends together when they were younger to create the Hello Sunshine Adventurers Club and now, more than a decade later he’s turned it into a business guiding other people on adventures into the wild, so you never know where something like this could lead!
10. Create a Veggie Patch and tend it together
Not only does growing their own veggies help teach kids where food comes from and how precious fresh food is, they’ll also love their veggies a whole lot more because they grew them themselves and gardening means more time spent getting active and into the outdoors!
11. Do as Pippi Longstocking did and mop the floor for FUN!
If you’ve never seen the movie The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, make sure you download it! Getting excited about scrubbing the floors, hunting for killer dust mites from outer space, racing to fold the biggest pile of laundry each, or hosting a vacuum party and pumping up some awesome tunes while you all clean the house together turns boring housework into a fun and killer workout. Set a time limit and see how quickly you can get it done. Hint hint kids, if you can’t think of an awesome Mother’s Day present, this will do the trick ;)
This article is proudly sponsored by Fitbit. To go in the draw to win a Fitbit for you and your Mum this Mother’s Day, simply show us how you get fit with the hashtag #getfitwithfitbit. Details at www.getfitwithfitbit.com.au.