It’s not very fun to look at the cold, hard facts that as a nation we are just getting bigger and bigger. We have to make a concerted effort to incorporate more exercise into the daily routine of our families. The proof is there for those who are willing to see it. We are too busy to make meals so instead we make a drive-through run, pick up more movies than we can watch in a night and then wonder why we have to shop in the plus sized department.
Biking: Fun For Everyone
When you have access to a nearby bike trail, biking is a great way to spend time with the family and get in your daily exercise at the same time. There are a few precautions to consider though: Go over safety rules so each member of the family knows what to expect and how to behave on the trail. Be sure to have everyone properly fitted for a helmet and age appropriate seating for the youngsters who be the passengers of other riders, whether in an individual baby seat or in a trailer that accommodates several children.
Family Fitness Feud
One great way to have fun with exercising is to invite a neighboring family to a friendly competition. We all know a neighbor that thinks they have to “one-up” all of the other neighbors on the street. Wouldn’t it be great fun to beat them in a weekly competition where the whole family can participate, Compete for bragging rights or for a fun outing at the loser’s expense.
Backyard Olympics – Family Style
You can have a Frisbee throw, target practice with squirt guns, jump rope and run around the outside of the house a predetermined number of times. Walk across a 2X4 like a balance beam, toss tennis balls into a bucket and see who can do the most jumping jacks. Then put them altogether to create an obstacle course. Whatever you choose to set up for the family, make sure that all members can participate and have a good time doing it.
Free Play and Team Sports
Team sports are a great way to learn unity, trust and the rules of the game. Don’t hesitate to participate, too, by coaching or covering for the coach during practice. If your kids see you having fun, they will want to get out and exercise too. Don’t discount the benefit of impulsive, boisterous play. Swim, catch lightening bugs, throw the football and roll down a hill. Skip stones across the creek, and hike through a national forest. If you can do it as a family and have fun, then get out and do it.