Creative ways for families to be more active together

Creative ways for families to be more active together

Some families think they don’t have time for physical fitness or exercise. Or they may think of exercise as playing on a sports team or going to the gym. Those two examples can take a significant amount of time and money, which is a challenge if you are already busy or on a fixed or limited income. But there are lots of ways for families to get moving that do not involve extra time and money.

Michigan State University Extension encourages you to think of activities or tasks that you already do that can be increased or added to your daily or weekly schedules. How many families clean their house or do chores? How many families have a pet? How many families watch television? Utilize these common family activities as physical activity or exercise! As an added bonus, families who come together for physical activity not only become more fit but can also increase their bond and relationships.

Below is a list of possible physical activity options that families can do together that don’t necessarily feel like exercise and don’t require a lot of time, money or preparation!

  1. Make household chores a game or competition. We have to clean anyway so why not make it a competition between family members? You can challenge each other to see who can complete chores first or make it a game where children have to wash away germs. The winning family member will get bragging rights for the week.
  2. Walk the dog. A dog requires a lot of work. Families can come together and take turns walking the dog on a daily basis or you can decide to walk the dog together after eating dinner.
  3. Create fitness breaks while watching television. Most families watch television together or have movie night from time to time. If you are watching a television show, get up and move at the commercials. Or if you are watching a movie, pause it for a fitness break. Easy commercial and movie break activities can be jumping jacks, running in place, squats or arm circles.
  4. Participate in a family sporting activity, run or walk. If your family enjoys competition or just a little active fun, you can consider playing a sport or engaging in a community run/walk together. This could be a friendly game of baseball or soccer or signing up for a community fun run for a good cause. These activities can be fun yet a means to being active and getting exercise – they also increase family bonding time!
  5. Rake leaves or shovel snow. If you live in a climate where the seasons change, you have an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors while being active. Tasks like raking the leaves and shoveling snow can turn into a physical activity as they require strength and endurance. You can do these chores together as a family and have fun at the same time! Now who doesn’t love a good snowball fight?

Remember, exercise doesn’t have to be time consuming, expensive or boring! Families can come together to be more active while enjoying time together. 

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