Snip-Its

Spring Refresh: Starting a Fitness Routine for the Family

April 7, 2016
A young boy playing on a yoga mat next to his mom outside.

Get your whole family moving this spring with these tips and tricks that make exercise fun.

Just Get Moving

  • Dance Party – Move some furniture, throw on some tunes and shake it. Invite neighbors to join in and have a dance-off. Warning: Your face will hurt from smiling—those muscles definitely needed the workout.
  • Sports Night – Almost as much fun as a dance party. Choose one night a week without other engagements and play with the family. The list is endless: flag football, basketball, catch, tennis, tag and soccer to name a few. Or build an obstacle course and hold a weekly family tournament.
  • Walking – Yes, just walking as a family is a great start. Suggest a pre or post dinner walk each night. Make it fun – the first one who spots a cat in the window or a squirrel in a tree is that evening’s champion.

Rewarding Family Play

  • Create or buy cards featuring family-friendly exercises: jump rope, hula-hoop, jumping jacks, wheelbarrow or crab-walk, hop like a bunny, cartwheels and handstands. Shuffle the deck and start with 10 minutes at a time. Go from there. You and your kiddos have the imaginations to come up with new exercises and add them in as you go along.
  • Teach your little ones about growing healthy fruits and vegetables and start a family garden. It’s a great workout, you’re all together, and you can see and eat the rewards!
  • Sign up for a charity walk or run and train as a family. Make a training chart and keep track of the days leading up to the event. Watch your family exercise time soar.

Keep the Focus on FUN

  • To really enjoy family exercise, you must keep it fun—whether you are 4 or 94. You and your kids are only going to keep doing something if you are having a good time.
  • Hit the trails – go hiking or biking. Grab some water and go on an adventure. Don’t forget to move at your own pace—as fast or as slow as you need to.
  • Try some group stretching and breathing – there are plenty of kid-friendly yoga poses all over the web or this 25-minute fun workout video for kids at home.

Spring is the perfect time for a refresh—to start moving and exercising as a family. A family who gets healthy together often times stays healthy together. Don’t forget to include a warm-up, a cool down and lots of water during your active time. Added benefits: toddlers need to practice motor skills and strengthen their developing heart, lungs and muscles; getting everyone involved in a healthy, active, family-oriented lifestyle is more than fun and exercise—it’s building a stronger, lasting bond between you and your kiddos.