FUN, SMART WAYS TO INCORPORATE FITNESS INTO FAMILY TIME

Since I am already a mom to two little boys, and also VERY pregnant with a little girl, I have found myself redirecting my focus these days more so towards topics related to all things motherhood and pregnancy.  My “niche” population was staring me straight in the face all this time and I have just been too oblivious to the obvious.  Doesn’t surprise me though because I have a tendency to make things harder for myself and more complicated than they need to be more often times than not.  So with that said, I thought I would share with you some easy ways to try and get the whole family involved when it comes to fitness.

I don’t know about you but these days it seems to me that a lot of  family bonding time often occurs in the car or in front of the TV. Encourage your whole family to get on board with your healthy lifestyle goals with these tips for incorporating family fitness into your everyday life.

  • Designate one evening a week as family fitness night – Each person gets a chance to choose what physical activity the family will do together. It might be swimming, rollerblading, badminton in the backyard, a basketball game or tennis match at the park, Frisbee golf or a bike ride. Stock up on the gear you need by giving these items as gifts for your children’s birthdays.
  • Buy physical participation video games when going the video game route – This is a great option for when it’s raining or snowing outside, you can still get physical with games like Nintendo Wii games and Dance Dance Revolution. Kids love them, and parents can get involved as well.
  • Reward kids with physical activities, not food – Make events like going to the park or the zoo a special affair available once chores are done or when your kids come home with good grades. By treating outdoor play as a reward for good behavior instead of food, you help instill a healthier mindset in your child.
  • Plant a garden – My guys especially love this!  Not only does this hobby get you and your kids physical, it gives you the chance to teach them about growing fresh, healthy produce for your meals. Eating what you’ve grown yourself is very rewarding.
  • Walk the dog – When choosing an activity for the evening, make it a physical one. Even if you only walk the dog for 20 minutes and spend the rest of the evening watching a movie as a family, that bit of exercise makes all the difference.
  • Work out alongside your kids – My neighbors may think I am crazy, but many times during the warmer weather I will work out in the driveway while my boys are playing in the front yard.  Periodically, my boys will come over and join me for an exercise here and there, and I will even make it a bit competitive for them by challenging them to run timed laps around the house!  When the weather gets colder, we will head down to the basement and I will give them their own workouts to do alongside me while I get my workout done.  They love it when I give them their own workouts to do because it makes them feel like a “big person”!
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