How to get the whole family excited about fitness and health

Are you looking for ways to start (and keep) the whole family exercising together? Here’s how to get the ball rolling!

 Walking together as a family is a great way to get your children excited about fitness.

It may be difficult to find a fitness routine that works for you and your children, but once you do, you’ll enjoy the extra quality time and closeness exercising as a family brings! Experts say it’s critical for children to develop the habit of exercising from a young age. According to research, parents’ level of activity and encouragement are important factors in determining how physically active their children are.

Do you want to start your own family fitness culture? Here are some suggestions to get you started (and no, having a home gym isn’t required):

Get off the couch

It’s extremely difficult to get started with an exercise routine, especially when you have children glued to their computers or iPhones. According to personal trainer Andrew Shniderman, just getting off the couch and going outside together as a family is a great way to get the ball rolling. He suggests that families go for a 10-minute walk together every day or two. Start small, with a walk around the block, and then extend your route by a few metres every day.

Be enthusiastic about exercise

If you don’t like weightlifting, don’t expect your children to suddenly become enthusiastic about it. Kids can sense when you’re faking it. Find something that you genuinely enjoy doing. The whole family will notice if you bring genuine excitement to an activity. In the same vein, whether your workout is 15 minutes or an hour,  keep it engaging and fun.

Make a strategy and stick to it

Every good fitness programme hinges on good planning. Every Sunday, gather the family and plan your week’s activities. Consistency and dedication are important. Anything that comes up in your day should not be used as an excuse to skip a workout.

Use an app or a fitness tracker

According to research, families who use fitness trackers with elements like points or levels – also known as “gamification” – are more likely to meet their fitness goals than those who do not. In a 2017 study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Boston University tracked the steps of  94 families for 12 weeks, with a 12-week follow-up. The study’s main finding was that incorporating a social game element into their exercise technology “significantly increased physical activity among families”. Digital exercise tracking has the added benefit of allowing you and your children to easily see stats on your progress, which can help you celebrate your accomplishments.

Locate a gym that is family-friendly

Gyms can provide a variety of opportunities for families to work out together. Shop around for the right gym and visit at the same times you’ll be working out to get a good sense of the vibe.

Participate in an untimed event

Signing up for an untimed family event can help alleviate performance anxiety and keep the focus on having fun.

Be inventive when it comes to your workouts

A little bit of creativity goes a long way. Your child’s attitude toward workouts might change from week to week and year to year. Simply keeping exercise fresh, whether through new games, workout moves, or changing goals, will go a long way toward establishing a family that exercises together – and enjoys it.