5 Fun Ways for Families to Keep in Shape Together

Promoting a healthy lifestyle in a culture where the computer and television challenge each other for your child's attention isn't easy.  As earnest as the fitness experts are, they are no match for the latest arcade game or reality TV show.  One way of getting your child away from the multi-media world and into a healthier environment is to get the whole family involved in activities that it can enjoy together.

  • Choose a family activity.  Each member of the family writes down one activity that it would like to try.  Make a rule that the activities must all be something that each member of the family is able to take part in so ages and physical restrictions need to be considered, and also that the activities fall within the budget of the household and can be found in the local area.  Fold the papers and place them in a small dish.  Have one person cover their eyes and then having shaken the dish, pick one piece of paper out at random.  This is the activity that the family will be involved in for either 3 or 6 months, depending on what time frame you set for the activity rotation.
  • Start a family tradition of having a swim or skate night.  Once a week the entire family goes to the local pool or rink and spends an hour having fun in the water or on the ice.  It doesn't have to be a class, or have any level of competing, just as long as everyone has fun and is moving!
  • Choose one day over the weekend as being a family hike day.  Research what walks are possible in your area, or join a rambling club.  If walking doesn't enthuse the family, why not join a cycling club instead and each weekend spend the day outdoors learning more about the area where you live as well as getting into better shape.
  • Stop the morning rush. Instead of everyone rushing to the breakfast table 5 minutes before they are due to leave the house each morning, set the alarm clocks half an hour earlier and have a brisk 15 minute walk around the neighborhood together before returning home to have a more relaxed breakfast together to start the day.  If this really isn't possible at the start of the day, consider doing it right after supper at the end of the day instead.
  • Have a picnic. Rather than having a trip to the local fast food restaurant for a treat, pack a picnic and take it to an area where you can play ball, swim, skip or just run around playing catch etc.  A play park, beach, or wooded area would be perfect for this.

Getting your family fitter needn't be a chore if you can make it fun, and something you do together.  It won't just promote a healthier lifestyle that your children will then continue throughout their lives, it will help build up a store of memories of spending quality time together.

Information is for educational and informational purposes only and is not be interpreted as financial or legal advice. This does not represent a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security. Please consult your financial advisor.