When family members get busy, there is hardly any time for a proper “family get together.” You meet at the dinner table occasionally or say “hi” in the mornings on your way out. And then the cycle repeats itself. To ensure a healthy relationship between family members and we mean “healthy” both in terms of mental and physical health — you need to set a time where all of you can plan some activities together.
Some fun and healthy exercise activities you can try as a family includes:
- Walking or Bicycling
- Weight lifting
- Walking or Running for a Charity
- Jump Rope
- Hula Hooping
- Walking the Dog
- Playing a Sport
- Playing Frisbee
Whether you have babies, toddlers, or teenagers, planning some physical activities every week can be a great way to bond and have fun as a family.
1. Walking or Bicycling in the Park
After a busy day of work, taking some time out for family walks in the evening can be a good break to freshen up and get close to nature. Walk or bicycle with your kids in the neighborhood or head to the nearest park.
You will most likely come across other families visiting the park with their kids. It will be a good opportunity for kids to find some play buddies and for parents to get to know their neighbors.
Did you know that cycling increases your cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength? It also improves joint mobility and strengthens bones.
Nature has healing powers and gardening is a great way to get in touch with nature. There is something really soothing about getting your hands in the wet mud or planting colorful fruits and vegetables.
Studies have found that being in a green landscape, areas, or pastures is linked with less anxiety and depression, and better stress management, among other positive benefits.
Gardening can be a fun physical activity for both kids and parents. You can also take this time to teach your child about different kinds of produces, and types of flowers and trees.
Yoga calms your mind, increases flexibility, muscle strength, and tone. It also improves respiration, energy, and vitality.
Kids love running around and it’s hard for them to stay still, so this exercise can be a challenge. However, it’s a great activity to remind your kids about the importance of stillness and calmness in life. Yoga will help them practice concentration and focus which will also help them in their studies.
4. Weight Lifting
There is a common myth around whether parents should allow kids to hold weights or not. It is believed that if young kids lift weights, it will stunt their growth. The myth doesn’t hold true as strength training like holding weights is a key factor in motor skill development and athleticism in kids.
However, that does not mean that you should give heavyweights to your kids. You can introduce them to smaller weights so that they can get familiar with the weights from the start.
5. Walking or Running for a Charity
Be a role model for your kids and gear up for a run at the local charity event. You can search for local charity walks around you that you can support, for example, Leukemia, Mental Illness, Breast Cancer, etc.
With this exercise, your family will be supporting a worthy cause and staying fit at the same time. In addition, you will also be instilling a sense of “giving back to the community” in your kids.
Dancing is a fun activity to get some quality exercise. It is perfect for kids as they love to jump around to music tunes.
You can look for a place that offers classes for both parents and kids so you can enroll together. Many dance classes include jazz, ballet, and hip hop.
Even if you don’t find a dance class where you can have fun together as a family, you can always prepare a collection of fun songs and create your living room into an enjoyable dancing experience.
7. Rope Jumping
Science proves that jumping ropes improves coordination, heart health, and strengthens bone density.
When kids play with one another, they love jumping on the rope. You can use a simple jump rope to have some good quality time with the family.
Both parents and kids can improvise jumping on the rope and try different twists and turns. For instance, in cross jumps you land with your feet crossed like an X, then apart, and then crossed again. Inside swing jumps, you land on one foot and swing the opposite leg out to the side, then switch on the next jump.
Kids love splashing water and jumping in the pool. There are many family pools that you can get a membership for year-round. However, in COVID-19 times, a great alternative could be to get an inflatable pool for your backyard. Kids can bring their toys into the pool and parents can sit with them and enjoy them.
If you live nearby a lake, try renting out some kayaks and have a fun day paddling away in the water. If there are no lakes near you, you can drive out on a weekend and head over to a water resort for some enjoyable family time together.
Kayaking is known to strengthen your core muscles and increase your endurance. It also
improves heart health and reduces stress. One hour of kayaking can also activate Vitamin D in your body.
Hiking is a perfect family activity for evenings and weekends. Choose a short and easy trail for the hike so the kids can enjoy it and not get tired quickly. Some trails also have nice sky views, so you can stop and admire the beauty of nature around you.
Hiking is one of the healthiest exercises out there. It is known to lower stress levels, improve mood, and enhance mental wellbeing. Regular hiking trips can reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and increased cholesterol levels.
11. Hula Hooping
Hula hoops are inexpensive and fun, and kids love them! They burn calories, strengthen muscles, and improve coordination. You can do so many different activities with a hula hoop.
In classic spins, instead of spinning the hoop around the waist, ask your kid to try spinning on his arms or legs. Hula hoops can also be used as targets, just like in a city fair. You can put some prizes and goodies on the ground and the kids get to keep the prize their hula hoop lands on.
12. Walking The Dog
According to a new study, dog owners who walk their pets outside are more likely to adopt regular exercise habits, regardless of the weather. Taking your furry friend outside is not just going to be fun for them but also for your kids.
Walking to the nearest park and playing fetch with the dog can be a relaxing and fun evening activity for the family.
13. Playing A Sport
Parents can sign their kids up for evening soccer or basketball classes and join them as spectators. But if you want to be more involved, get a ball and hit the park with your kids and play sports like cricket, football or tennis.
Apart from traditional sports, you can also play outdoor games like tag, marbles, red light green light, kick the can, etc. with your kids.
Skating uses nearly every muscle in the body. Gliding on the ground or ice requires synchronized movement of the legs, which is important for joint flexibility. During summers, you can look for parks that have built-in skating rinks. In winters, however, many mobile parks open up for ice skating.
Kids can learn to skate at an early age as long as they have the ankle strength to walk on the floor with the skates on. Parents can join the kids in the rink and teach them how to skate and have some fun together.
15. Playing Frisbee
Playing frisbee never gets old. Whether you are at home, in the park, or on a camping trip, frisbee will keep you entertained. Take out some time in the evenings to go to the park and play frisbee with your kids. Bring the dog along!
Playing frisbee burns calories, increases resting metabolic rate, and improves mood. It also improves agility from quick turns, throws, and pivots.
All in All
Families spend most of their days busy with work or with household chores. During this time, we can forget the importance of spending some time together as a family. Setting aside some quality time for healthy exercise activities every week can not only improve the physical, mental and psychological health of the family members but also help them establish a strong bond and friendship with one another. Try some of the listed exercises with your family at least once every week and you will see a great improvement in your health, fitness, and relationships. Have fun!
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