Family Fitness = Family Fun

Most of us routinely set goals to get more exercise, and we know we should probably urge our families to get fit. What we might not realize is that improving our fitness as a family can have effects well beyond our health.

Research has shown that families who are active together communicate better and have stronger relationships, and that kids who are active see improvements in focus, emotional health, academics and more. In other words, you’ll all feel better, do better and get along better!

The best part is that improving family fitness doesn’t have to be a major undertaking. With just a little creativity, you can boost your family’s fitness without breaking the bank, overloading the schedule or becoming gym rats. Here are some tips:

Make it fun. Kids don’t have to realize they’re exercising to get the benefits from increased activity. Anything that gets the heart rate up over a period of time helps, so just get out with the family and play hard. Even if you’re laughing the whole time, if you’re breaking a sweat, you’re making progress.

Get some work done. Want to get double the benefits out of fitness? Make vigorous yard work and other housework part of the plan.

Learn new sports. Most of us find unexpected energy when we’re learning something new. Take advantage of that new energy to get fit and have fun. If you try something and don’t love it, laugh it off and move on. Keep trying till you find something that works.

Get your moves on! A lot of people overlook the aerobic value of dancing, but a fun dance party with lots of upbeat tunes can help your family improve their fitness and have lots of laughs.

Train together for an event. Working together to walk, run or bike in a big event can be a big boost for togetherness. If someone is more fit and needs to scale back workouts so others can keep up, that’s okay. The point is to get fit as a family, not to be the fittest of all.

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