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8 Fun Ways to Exercise as a Family

After a long day at work or school, it’s easy to fall into a routine of apathy. Parents often retreat into their smartphones or laptops, while the children watch TV, play video games, or sit on phones of their own. In a way, it’s understandable: Everyone’s tired after a long day at work and school. Yet, as everyone falls into their own individual electronic worlds, no one is actually spending any time together or interacting with each other.

Maybe you’ve never considered it before, but a great way to strengthen your family’s bond is by exercising together. Not only will you get to spend quality time with one another, but you will also be doing your body a favor!

To many, a family exercise routine sounds great, but they just don’t know where to begin. Here’s eight easy, fun, and (almost) entirely free ways you can get your family up and going.

Sign Up For A 5K

Training and running a 5-kilometer race as a family is a rewarding way to spend time together. Running a 5K (which is equivalent to 3.1 miles) is the perfect distance for a family to run. It’s a distance that’s long enough to be challenging, yet accessible to everyone in the family. Best of all, many 5K’s are designed to support local charities making your effort even more rewarding. How do you locate a race in your area? Search a site like Racewire to find local 5K’s near your home.

Take A Hike!

Do you like the idea of being outdoors, but running isn’t something that interests your family? How about taking a family hike? By doing some simple searching online, you can find trails, state and national parks, and other hiking options in your local area. You can even take your dog with you— after all, they’re part of the family too!

Join A Class

Some families like the idea of exercising together, but they need additional motivation to get it done. If that’s you, sign your whole family up for an exercise class. Although there may be some expense involved, paying a fee may actually keep you more accountable in following a fitness schedule.

What kind of classes should you consider? Check with your local gym or YMCA to see what programs they offer that are appropriate for the entire family. What about martial arts? Consider Krav Maga as a way to build self-confidence in both you and your children while improving everyone’s physical fitness.

Walk After Dinner

Looking to start a new, healthy habit that’s simple? Take an after-dinner walk a couple of nights a week. Use your smartphone or fitness band to keep track of your progress. To make sure you’re getting a decent workout, make sure to keep a pace that’s leisurely enough for a family conversation, yet brisk enough to get your heart rate into the fat-burning zone. You can easily walk a mile in 20 minutes at this pace.

Do Some Yard Work

Although yard work may not sound like good family exercise, there’s something wonderful about a family working together and sweating in the yard. Make no mistake, yard work is physical exercise! Get everyone outside and give each family member a task to accomplish. Just one rule: no earbuds! This allows everyone the opportunity to talk and have conversations as they work. Best of all: when you use yard work as a family exercise, you’ll not only feel better but your yard will look better, too!

Hit The Water

Whether it’s the beach, a lake, or even a pool in your backyard, swimming is an incredible full-body workout. On top of being a great low-impact exercise, there are few things that bring more laughter and joy than a group of people splashing in the water together. Everyone will be having so much fun that they’ll forget they’re getting fit at the same time! Other great outdoor activities you could try together include kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.

Play Some Soccer

Soccer (or to the rest of the world, football) is a simple game that takes a lifetime to master. Best of all, you can play with a small number of people and still have a wonderful time. Simply get a soccer ball and a portable pop-up soccer goal, and you can play almost anywhere! Spend time kicking a ball back and forth between family members or arrange a mini-family game — whatever you choose, soccer is a fantastic way to build coordination, agility, and get your heart rate up into the fat burn zone.

Don’t Leave Home Without Them

Perhaps you already have a workout routine, but it’s your routine. You’re not in the habit of sharing your time at the box or gym with the rest of your family. That’s understandable because many people use their workout time as a way to clear their mind. But what if you decided that, once a week, you’d hit the gym together as a family?

Working out with kids is enjoyable and brings far more benefits than simply getting fit. You’ll also bond together as you teach your children how to do different exercises and how to utilize different machines. Share your workouts together, and you’ll pass on a lifetime love of fitness in the lives of your kids.