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!
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!