3 Ways to Exercise As A Family

3 Fun Ways to Exercise as a Family

Note from Katie: Working out with kids at home can be tough! I don’t make it a priority as much as I should because I don’t like leaving my family to go to the gym. Just as it is important to teach kids a healthy attitude about food, we should also strive to instill in them a desire to be active. Today, a friend of mine, Brett Klikam C.S.C.S, shares some of his strategies for working out as a family (and having fun while doing it). Enter Brett.

If we as adults wish to create a future of happy, healthy, disease-free adults with our kids, it’s time we start practicing what we preach. If we want healthy kids, it’s time for us to be models of a healthy lifestyle.

Our kids model our behavior. Their attitudes and actions toward everything from nutrition to exercise to politics are shaped by our own actions and behaviors. If we want our kids to eat well, we need to eat well. If we want them to exercise, we need to exercise.

The above modeling creates a culture of wellness in the home. In this environment, children learn that healthy habits are a positive way of life, not punitive novelties sentenced to mom and dad for “eating too much yummy food”.

Exercising as a family is not only a fun way to improve fitness, it’s a way to cultivate the culture of wellness and develop positive exercise habits at a young age.

Below are some fun exercise-based family activities guaranteed to create smiles and sweat!

1. Sock Fight!

Everyone in the family gathers as many of their balled-up socks as they can carry. An area is selected as the “battle ground”. This can be a living room, house, backyard, front yard, park, anywhere. On a “go” signal, everyone tries to throw and hit another family member with the balled up socks. The primary rule is you cannot throw from the same place twice.

Each “battle” lasts 2 minutes then everyone gathers up his or her “ammo” for 60 seconds. Five “battles” is 15 minutes of pretty intense exercise, assuming everyone is moving. Points can be kept hitting a target or any other parameters. Safety rules appropriate to the environment are established.

2. Family Boot Camp

Each family member writes down 5 of his or her favorite bodyweight (or weighted, level appropriate) exercises, for a total of at least 20. Exercises can be dance moves, calisthenics, martial arts, anything physical that the entire family can do.

The family then goes for a walk, jog, or run and every 60 seconds, they do one of the exercises for 30 seconds. By the end of all of the exercises, it’s been a 20- minute work out! Feel free to go into overtime!

3. Hide and Sweat!

The adults in the family write down 20 physical activities on separate small pieces of paper. These are then put in plastic Easter eggs and hid around the house. Kids are then tasked to find the eggs. When they find them they open them and the entire family performs the activity for the reps or amount of time given.

Putting a time limit on finding all of the eggs and doing all of the exercises makes it more interesting!

A family that exercises together stays together! Create a culture of wellness in your home to help our children grow to become happy, healthy, disease free adults!

About the Author:
Brett Klika is an award winning personal trainer and internationally recognized strength coach, author, and motivational speaker who travels the world educating and motivating thousands a year with his message of practical health and human performance for the entire family. Check out his blog here.

How do you keep your kids (and yourself) active? Ever tried any of these activities? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. I am with you, Katie. I do not like to leave my family to go workout. I like to be there in the morning when my kids wake up. I’d rather go for a short walk in the blistering sun than an early morning stroll. LOL

    These are great options. We used to set up obstacle courses on rainy days when our kids were smaller.

  2. Like the Dutch, we try to ride our bikes everywhere, with a diligent focus on getting as many routine errands done via bike (groceries, school, work, etc..). My 19-month-old rides in a WeeRide seat on the handle bars, and my nearly 6-year-old rides on a Burley piccolo trail-a-bike (both found on Craig’s List!). My husband rides 15 miles round trip to work each day (granted, half of that is down hill, but the other half is up a mountain…) and he drops our daughter to school in bike trailer and I pick her up on the piccolo attached to my bike. It’s kind of crazy, but I can check off a at least minimal exercise in a day if we make that a lifestyle habit :-).

    I also allow lots of running in the house–especially while I am making dinner. They run back and forth from our office to the living room and while cooking, I pretend to “get” them. I never do (shucks! I needed some extra tasty-tasty for the soup!) 😉 Sometimes, I’ll hide behind the pantry door and jump out a bit, which causes happy shrieks and squeals. Then I go back to stirring this and chopping that. I do not suspect that allowing them to run all over the house now will lead to adults who are as inclined to run in the house! 🙂 They also like jumping on the couch cushions (removed from the couch and spread all over the floor). Industrious. Wee ones are very industrious when left to their own devices and will come up with ways to get exercise.

    Family dance parties are fun too. Mine *love* to dance. I just turn on the music, they get the costumes and the fun can go on and on.

    I love the ideas in the article. Great idea for Easter egg hunts–but good all year too!

  3. these look super fun! Especially the Family Boot Camp!

  4. One of the things we loved doing as a kid was buying those huge marshmallows and have a marshmallow fight. After throwing them they become inedible so we just pick them back up and chuck them at each other again. The sock fight reminds me of that.

  5. I am putting an informative piece in a newsletter for the Y I work for and I was curious if you would mind my using this one. My focus is fitness tips and I sincerely love this (and your entire blog). If not, I will write up my own. Have a blessed day!

    • I don’t allow my articles to be copied and published elsewhere. However, you can quote from an article and link back to the original one if you’d like. Thanks for reading!