Make Exercise A Family Affair

A lot of parents struggle to find time for workouts. Others worry they can’t get the kids off the couch. And, of course, the vast majority of us simply have trouble getting motivated to exercise.

All of those problems might have the same solution: Make exercise a family affair.

How? First of all, by setting realistic expectations. If you regularly do three-hour workouts, scale things back to get the family on board.

Next, make it fun for everyone. Talk with your family about how you might get in shape together, and get everyone’s ideas for physical activities. It might help to choose something that everyone can learn together, rather than something that one of you already excels at.

Finally, build exercise into the family routine with a reasonable commitment. Don’t try to go from no exercise to a seven-days-a-week program. Instead, maybe you all do something together three times a week. This way you can up your family fitness game, and, if you’re inclined, work in additional workouts at other times. And, everyone can find time for recovery and even a little (well-earned) couch surfing.

The best part? This will not only make your bodies stronger, but it’ll make your family stronger, too, according to psychologist Sylvia Rimm. She notes that exercise “really bonds families,” and reduces tension between parents and kids.

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