Welcome to this series about Fitness at Home. Enjoy the ideas and principles. Enjoy the many benefits of good Fitness. Practice it well.
Getting fit is a trend across the nation, with the First Lady on a campaign to encourage people to get healthy. Whole families can get on the fitness bandwagon, and one of the best ways to get your family fit is to make it fun. Here are some ideas for activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
This is a popular family activity these days. Some communities are more conducive to bike riding than others but look around and find a safe and appropriate place. If you don’t have bike paths in your community, see if a park has mountain biking trails. Maybe you can simply find quiet, hidden neighbourhoods with little traffic where your family can ride around together.
Even an empty lot can provide a biking area.
If you can, make it a rewarding trip – maybe the whole family can bike to the drug store and get a toy or small treat (just make sure you’re burning all the calories in that treat if it’s edible!).
There’s nothing new about hiking as a family, but it might not be something you’ve considered if you don’t live in a community where hiking is prevalent. But hiking does not have to be hard core; it can take the form of nature walks or just a fun time exploring the woods. There is usually something for the whole family in nature – collecting rocks or feathers can be fun or identifying plants and birds.
While it’s true that sitting in front of a computer is not good exercise, there are active computer games these days that involve aerobic exercise. Kids won’t even think it’s exercise! Interactive computer games can involve tennis, dance competitions, baseball, and other activities. It might be worth investing in one and getting everyone to participate in game night.
Three of the good things about martial arts are that the whole family can participate, it’s fun and rewarding, and it’s indoors. For those who don’t have access to a big yard or park, or when the weather is not conducive to going outdoors, martial arts can be a fun family activity that can be practiced at home, indoors or out.
If you have an indoor pool in your community, this does not have to be strictly a summer activity. Swimming lessons for young children can take place while older family members swim for exercise. Kids who are comfortable in the water can play water games. It can be a welcome and fun activity that you can do weekly or several times a week.
Some people might be intimidated by the idea of dancing together as a family, but it does not have to be classical ballet! The whole family can enjoy dance-based workouts, or even ballroom dancing. Or you can just have a dance night where you dance around the living room. Women and girls might enjoy belly dancing, another activity that is fun and beneficial.
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Nick Thorne is the founder of NicksDigitalSolutions Limited a company that specialises in Education, Training and Writing. He lives in Levin, New Zealand