Fun Ways to Keep You and Your Family Fit and Healthy
As a mom, do you ever feel like a chef, teacher, organizer, wife, banker, play buddy, maid, chauffeur and more? With all of these roles competing for your attention, it is easy to put yourself last on the priority list.
Usually the first thing to fall by the wayside is getting the exercise your body needs to stay strong. But guess what? Good nutrition and exercise are more important than ever! By caring for yourself, you can help prevent diseases, improve your mood, boost your libido, and give your skin a shiny glow.
If you find yourself struggling to carve out some time for exercise, consider making fitness a family affair!
There are many ways to move—you just have to choose a few that work for you, then get the family to buy in. Have each family member choose two activities they like, indoors or out, then draw straws to see which activity the family will do first. Schedule the activity, commit, and make it happen. Here are a few of our favorite ways to stay active.
Live an Active Lifestyle
- Bring a stroller with you to store healthy snacks, but only let your child sit in it when they are truly tuckered out. And take turns pushing it! Kids love feeling responsible for the stroller too.
- Make it a habit to work out as a family during TV commercials. For each commercial break, perform a new exercise. Our favorites are burpees, jumping jacks, sit-ups and yoga positions like downward dog.
- Share your own sports experiences with your kids. If you used to swim, teach your kids how to do the butterfly or breaststroke. If you used to be a tennis champion, visit some local courts and teach your family the game. You won’t believe how energized you’ll feel reliving your glory days.
Get Involved With Your Kids
- Don’t just sit on the sidelines when you are at the park with your children—play with them! Chase them, toss a Frisbee or play catch. If you are not up for that, walk around the playground while the kids are playing to boost your fitness ability. Partner with another mom, bring three-pound weights, and create your own resistance training routine while the kids play.
- Do your kids play sports? Practice with them on the weekends. Toss the football, hit the batting cages, or practice your golf swing. They’ll love sharing these memories with you.
- Consider joining mommy-and-me yoga classes—they can be found in most major cities. You’ll bond with your child while relaxing and stretching your bodies. What better way to foster a mind-body connection early on?
- Head to a swimming pool to enjoy some splash time. Water has natural resistance that helps strengthen muscles. Switch with your husband or another adult to watch the kids so you can swim some laps. Be sure to pack some sunscreen.
- Team up with another mom and squeeze in some walking. For example, you could buddy up with a couple parents to walk around the neighborhood after dropping the kids off at school or soccer practice. By buddying up with a friend, you will be held socially accountable to commit to fitness. An added benefit is your kids will see you prioritizing your health.
- You hear it often, but do you do it? Park your car farthest from the entrance when shopping. If you’re going to the mall, try parking on the opposite side from the store you need to visit. These extra steps really add up throughout the day.
- Shopping for clothes? Make it a habit to walk the whole mall first. If it’s an outdoor mall, take a lap or two.
- Wear a pedometer with the kids. Figure out the average number of steps you take per day, and then try to take 250 more. Keep adding 250 steps each week until you reach the goal of 10,000 steps a day. See which family member gets the most steps every three days. By tracking your progress and setting goals, you’ll be extra motivated to get moving.
Explore the Neighborhood
- Make it a habit to be active after dinner. Let each family member choose their transportation (feet, bikes, rollerblades, scooters, etc.), and take a few laps around the neighborhood together. Don’t forget the helmets.
- Going out for ice cream as a family? Make it an active event by riding your bikes there and sticking to the kiddie-sized cups.
- Once a month, make it a point when you plan to dine out, to try new restaurants that are within walking distance of your home. If that is not realistic in your community, try driving to other local attractions (the park, the library, etc.), then walk with your family to a restaurant within walking distance. The point is to get out and experience your community on foot.
- Take a hike or visit a local nature preserve. Make it a game, and see how many different kinds of birds, flowers or butterflies you can find.
- Walking in nature improves mood, so if the family is feeling a little down in the dumps, take a trip outdoors. National parks make great day trips and are cheaper than most local activities.
- While you’re out, pack a nutritious lunch. Let the kids make their own sandwiches with the toppings of their choice, and pack snacks like nuts, fruit and low-sodium jerky.
The best part of staying fit with your family is the bonding time you’ll share. Kids open up when they get away from the distractions of everyday life. But even when you can’t be active as a family, take advantage of alone time and do your own workout.