Have you been wondering how to be more active as a family? Perhaps you’re ready to make lifestyle changes like eating healthier or exercising more – but you are wondering how to get your family on board or fit this into your busy family schedule. The activities below can help get you and your family moving so that being active doesn’t feel like a struggle or yet another task on the to-do list.
3 Steps to Be More Active as a Family
Before you start changing up your family’s routines though, you should consider what efforts will make your switch to a more active lifestyle a success. Setting a solid foundation will help you get off to a great start.
1. Involve the Family
When people are involved in decisions, they are usually more likely to participate. This is even more the case with kids. Letting your kids have input as you build this new lifestyle in the home is a way to get them excited and committed and want to be more active as a family.
2. Be a Role Model
This might be one of the hardest changes to make. We sometimes want so badly to ensure our children’s well-being that we focus exclusively on them, while our own needs sit on the back burner. However, one of the best things you can do to help your children develop a more active lifestyle is to model what an active lifestyle looks like. This is where the change towards a more active family can really begin. Children learn vicariously through watching your actions so demonstrating these behaviors is super-critical to setting an example they will want to follow. As you work on your fitness plan for the family, be sure that you are following through on your own commitment to better health, not just monitoring your family members’ progress. If you want kids who make activity a part of their lives, you need to make it a part of yours.
3. Take a Slow and Steady Approach
Change takes time. And especially when you’re working to change the habits within an entire family, you’ll want to take a slow and steady approach. Beware that making too many changes too quickly can undermine your goal to have a more active lifestyle. Remember that this is a plan you’re working on for the long haul, not a fad or temporary “fix.” So start off slowly and build up over time. When children experience too much “pressure” or are introduced to too many new things at once, they may respond with resistance rather than shared excitement. So be sensitive to their needs and expectations as you work on creating family routines around being active as a family or other areas of your family’s health.
Ideas to Help You Be More Active as a Family at Home
Trying to be active as a family doesn’t have to involve a membership to a fitness center or investing in lots of exercise equipment. You can be active at home by maximizing your everyday routines and using your surroundings as inspiration. Here are some fun ways to be more active as a family right in your own home and yard.
Have a dance party
Toss a ball around
Do a family-friendly online workout
Go for a family walk
Head to the park for a family playdate
Go for a hike
Do yard work together
Declutter your home
Play musical chairs
Play balloon volleyball
Create an obstacle course
Play Simon Says
Wash the car together
Take a kid-friendly online yoga class together.
6 Fun Exercise Games to Keep Your Family Active
If you want to get the family up and active and ether it’s rainy, snowy, or even too hot to hit the park or backyard, exercise games are a great way to get everyone in the family giggling and away from the screens for a bit.
We’ve put together a list of 25 easy indoor exercise ideas to do with kids at home. It’s a really simple way for a family to integrate movement and exercise into any day. Most of these can be done right in your living room, and will even work in tight city apartments (or hallways). We promise everyone will be tired and laughing after attempting just a handful.
Alicia Hyatte is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Family Wellness Advocate, Health Educator, and a Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach. She helps parents to build healthier habits and routines to better balance home and work life. Her website, WholeFamilyLiving.com, provides motivation and simple strategies for handling everyday challenges like managing stress, being active, eating healthier, losing weight, and more. Alicia is a beach lover and gardening geek in her spare time.