Fitness with Family: the Whys and the Hows

exercise - people using stationary bike

Good habits begin at home, and the best way to develop good habits is for every member of the family to participate. Of course, there will be some differences in each family, but generally speaking, good habits choose no one. Everyone and anyone can benefit from it, be it making a habit of eating vegetables, cleaning as you go, or even reading books.

However, one of the most difficult habits to form is the habit of physical activity. After all, who wants to get tired and sweat? But we need to learn that this somewhat unpleasant situation is for our best.

Forming an Exercise Habit with Your Family

Some kids find their selves naturally athletic. People often attribute it to genes, but more often than not it’s also because of their parents allowing them to move and play. Although indirectly, athletic children’s families have allowed them to form a habit of physical fitness- moving around, exercising whenever bored, and generally using their muscles. This is what makes the difference between forming a habit that starts from the family: being encouraged and doing exercise as a child makes exercise as an adult relatively easier.

You don’t have to expect your children to be an athlete to encourage them to exercise. It can simply be out of health concern, both for you and everyone in your family. Many family counselors also suggest exercising with your family as it is a great way to spend time together, while also doing something highly productive.

In this article, we will take a look at great physical activities that will definitely increase your fitness level- all the while spending a great time with your family.

Ditch the Car and Walk

First things first: let walking be the norm. For distances that aren’t too far, avoid relying on a vehicle. Instead, teach your family that walking is mighty fine too. Walk with them, and talk about the going-on in your life. It’s a fun activity that introduces the basic premise of fitness: movement. Getting used to walking distances also increasing cardiovascular strength gets the muscles used to consistent effort, not to mention teaching your child how to save on gas.

Wake Up Early and Jog with Pets

Nobody likes waking up early, and nobody likes waking up early to exercise. But there is a way to motivate your family in doing so: bring your pets along. When pets are excited, they add another layer of motivation to everyone involved. Nobody likes disappointing their pets, and this is one way to make use of their powers of cuteness. Bringing the whole family along makes it a fun activity, and the exercise you get from jogging makes it all worth it.

Go Hiking Together

Enjoying nature, preparing your things together, and then going through a physically challenging task such as climbing a mountain- hiking is one of the best family fitness activities you can do. It’s challenging yet satisfying, and there’s a sense of accomplishment after finishing the hike. It also sets a benchmark for everyone’s fitness, showing the direction where they can improve next: whether be it cardio, conditioning, or strength.

people hiking

Get Bikes for Everyone

We’ve already talked about ditching the car in favor of walking. Another option to encourage fitness around the house is to get everyone a bike. This reduces the need to use the car, while still enabling everyone to go about their usual routine. A bicycle definitely moves faster than walking, while still providing an adequate amount of physical effort. You can even go on bicycle trips together, like going to the nearest national park on your bikes.

Build a Home Gym

Nothing encourages fitness more than having a gym of your own. Many fitness enthusiasts are influenced by the environment, often older siblings or parents. They usually have gym equipment in their house, making their introduction to the habit very easy. You can apply a similar idea here: build a very basic home gym, and consistently use it yourself. Keep encouraging your family members, and eventually, they’ll get around to doing it, and hopefully, it becomes a consistent hobby.

Other Exercise Notes for You and Your family

On average, adults need around 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or at least 75 minutes of intense physical activity per week. Children, on the other hand, can settle with 60 minutes of moderate physical activity, with sporadic high-intensity activities in between.

With this in mind, your target shouldn’t be exercising for certain number of hours. Instead, slowly introduce fitness to your family, make it feel like a natural progression of your life as a family. You’ll find that your family member will warm up to the idea this way sooner rather than later.

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