So how can you fit in time for fitness and time for the family when you have so little time on your hands? The answer is to combine the two: healthy family activities. With a little planning and organization, you can enjoy time with your family and maintain your and your family’s health and fitness at the same time. Think this is easier said than done? Then check out our top 10 healthy family activities, which is full of fun family fitness ideas, including sporting activities and non-sporting healthy alternatives.
Sporting activities for the family
Getting the family involved in sport is a guaranteed way of improving everyone’s fitness – so why not try out some of the following sport-orientated family fitness suggestions?
- Swimming with the family. Swimming is always a sure-fire hit with the kids. In fact the difficulty is persuading them to get out of the pool. Swimming is an excellent family activity because it’s great fun and everyone can participate at their own level. Also, because it is a weight-supported exercise, it is ideal if impact activities are unsuitable for you or you have an injury. An hour swimming can burn up to 300 calories as well as build your upper-body strength and it also gives your heart, lungs and all the major muscle groups in your body a good workout.
- Family cycling. Increasingly there are more and more safe cycling routes available with areas that are traffic-free for family-friendly cycling. Even if your children are too young to control a bike on their own, you can buy child seats or attachments that link their bike to yours so that you can all enjoy a session together. The final bonus is that cycling is a fun way to shift the pounds because it burns between 200 and 800 calories per hour! Off-road cycling is the best because you recruit a greater range of muscles to cope with the challenge of the uneven terrain.
- Orienteering with the family. Take a compass, a map, and a wide variety of courses that cater for every level of fitness and age group, and you have all the ingredients for a great family activity. You can walk, jog or run an orienteering course, which will help to maintain your fitness and the sport is very family-friendly as it has different events designed for children, teenagers and adults. For an introduction to the sport, try an orienteering courses where children particularly enjoy the ‘hide and seek’ element.
- Indoor games for the family. Badminton, ten-pin bowling and table-tennis (to name just three) are all activities that everyone in the family can have a go at – and booking an hour or two at your local sports center won’t break the bank either. As the children get older, you could organize mini tournaments and head-to-heads – where the competition is certain to provide you with a quality workout!
- Family activity holidays. Nowadays, there is a growing trend for the traditional beach holiday to be supplemented by something a little more dynamic and adventurous that involves sport and/or other activities. The opportunity to experience a new sport without compromising family time is ideal –and with the wide range of sports now on offer, there will be something for everyone. Water sports, trekking or even daily excursions are more beneficial and healthy than sun-lounger-type breaks – plus they are more enjoyable family activities.
Non-sporting healthy alternatives for the family
Of course, not everyone or every family member wants to pick up a racket, climb on a bike or get sporty – but that doesn't mean that you can't still enjoy healthy family activities! Try some of the non-sporty suggestions below to give a healthy focus for all the family.
- Walking with the family. For easy family fitness, walking is top of the charts. Walking is the simplest of healthy activities, costs nothing and can be enjoyed almost anywhere. A family walk over a couple of hours will tire out the children and bring a multitude of health benefits including exercising the cardiovascular system, strengthening and toning the legs and burning approximately 100 calories per hour. To add further interest for the kids, devise a treasure hunt or award points for different flora and fauna that they see.
- Family mealtimes. For many families, sit-down meals together have become a thing of the past, with each family member doing their own thing and then bolting down a convenience meal if time allows. However, the simple act of just sitting down together and enjoying a proper, healthy meal is an excellent family-friendly activity. Making time for a family meal is likely to result in better quality nutrition, as the food is more likely to be home-cooked, and can provide you with a good opportunity to relax and de-stress.
- Family outdoor activities. Whether it’s a playing in the garden, a game of ‘tag’ in the local park or some fun on the swings and slides, simple outdoor games and activities are great for quality family time and exercise. The children will love it and you’ll also benefit from the getting your heart rate a little higher. Make sure all the family members can get involved so that everyone has the chance to exercise.
- Family day trips. Any event that involves everyone getting up and about will contribute to the family’s health and fitness. Visiting the zoo, going to a sporting event or exploring a theme park is something that can be enjoyed by all the family and will also involve expending plenty of calories en route!
Just get up and go
It doesn’t have to be hell to be healthy for you or your family and using some smart combinations of activities such as the ones above means that you’ll neither neglect your family nor your fitness. Of course everyone is busy and yes, everyone wants a piece of you, but there aren’t many more important things than maintaining your health and fitness and spending some time with your family, so go and do it! Read more on realbuzz.com...
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