We all lead incredibly busy lives. 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 organisation, you can enjoy time with your family and maintain yours and your family’s health and fitness at the same time. Think this is easier said than done? Then check out some of these healthy family activities
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: 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: 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: 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 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.