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Fitness for The Whole Family and How to Stick to It!

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When it comes to fitness, we may consider our health as a person, but what about our loved ones? If you had to rate your family’s fitness on a scale of one to ten, how would you rank as a group?

Since most of us have jam-packed schedules, it is often difficult to complete our own workouts each week, let alone monitor exercise for our entire family. But we may just need to rethink our ideas of fitness. Instead of counting exercise as minutes on the treadmill or hours at the gym, think of it as leading an active lifestyle with the people who are important to you. 

Start by taking a family poll to find out what activities seem interesting. While some families enjoy the outdoors, others are more sports-oriented or like gym memberships. We could also take a lesson from the younger ones and consider some good old-fashioned kids’ play that is safe, fun and simple. Here are a few kid-friendly exercises to get you and your family on the road to good health.  

Hula Hoop
The hula-hoop is back! Today’s exercise hoops are bigger and heavier than the older styles, which makes it easier to keep them continuously spinning. Hula-hooping is a great low-impact exercise and twirling it around your arms or neck can be a creative workout. Make it a friendly competition and see who can keep their hoop going the longest. 

Water Noodles
Water noodles are a fun and inexpensive way to add some variety, color and intensity to any water routine! Noodles are great for toning, balance and stabilization exercises. Try jogging with one and keep the noodle in front of you and then behind you. You can alternate pushing your arms forward, front, down and back. Try a relay to get everyone involved.

Line Dancing
Fun music and basic moves make line dancing tons of fun for adults and kids alike. You don’t need a partner and each generation can learn new ways to dance. Stand side by side and try to move in unison while doing easy steps like the slide, grapevine, toe touch and more. Parents or grandparents can teach the boot scoot boogie or electric slide and kids can instruct the latest YouTube craze.  

A Few More Ideas…
Some cities have existing leagues for kickball, or start your own with your neighbors and their families. Skip! Instead of running or walking, add a little spring to your step, or mix it in with your usual workout. Take a group hike and add a few skips, side shuffles or marches. 

Dance! Have your own family Dancing with the Stars! Kick up your heels with a partner or get your groove on your own. 

Play with toys! Buy colorful exercise balls, bands and weights that interest you. Keep them handy where you can see them for some quick ten-minute bursts of activity or have the kids help you make a simple obstacle course to complete together or on teams.

Use your own backyard or the neighborhood playground to swing, slide and climb. Try group classes such as Zumba or spinning. Enroll in a boot camp session so everyone can work out at their own pace. 

Rah, rah, sis boom bah! Just like a teenager at cheerleading camp, have your kids teach you some new cheers and perhaps a few new moves.

Play HORSE!  The whole family can take turns shooting hoops. Every time you miss, you get a letter. The closer you come to spelling HORSE, the more you need to practice your “A”-game. Short on time? Try COW.

Set Goals
What do you want to achieve with your workouts? Family time? Fitness? To de-stress?

Set clear goals on what you want to achieve each week. 

Schedule Workouts
Similar to a business meeting or after-school activity, schedule your family fitness time each week. Make sure most, if not all, of your crew can be there ready to go!

Share Your Plans
Just like other fitness ambitions, sometimes it is wise to announce it. If your family uses social media, this might be a time to make others aware of your family workouts. It helps to keep you aligned with your plans and accountable. 

Check Back In
No one likes the same old workout, and it’s the same for your family members. Every month or so, check in and see if everyone is still getting what they like from the workouts. Adjusting workouts to fit older kids and elementary school-aged children can be tricky, but changing the routine can also freshen up the exercise. 

Remember that the idea is to enjoy yourself! Whether you are doing any of these kid-like exercises as a new workout or just making the time you spend with your family healthier, your heart will benefit in more ways than one.