Keeping young kids active can be challenging, but experimenting with interactive games and routines will help families stay fit together in a fun way. Before we get to the fun part, let’s take a look at some fitness-related information:
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), children and adolescents (between ages 6 to 17) should participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity for an hour every day. And during this active time, they need to alternate and include aerobic activity, muscle-strengthening activity, and bone-strengthening activity.
Younger children (3 to 5 years old) should be active throughout the day. Adults need 150 minutes of moderately intense activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity every week.
Physical activity can boost cardiovascular fitness, help shed extra pounds, strengthen muscles and bones, prevent mental health issues or reduce symptoms, and keep several health conditions at bay.
Neither adults nor children are as physically active as they need to be. Only 24% of the children (6 to 17 years of age) are achieving the desired level of physical activity. Around 27% of adults are not engaging in a sufficient amount of physical activity.
Is your family getting the required amount of physical activity? If not, here are some fun ways to change that!
6 Fun Family Fitness Activities To Stay Active
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Hula Hoop Your Way to Fitness
Hula hoops can easily inject fun into a fitness routine. This simple and inexpensive piece of equipment can make everyone look forward to working out. Since it is easily portable, you can hold a hula hoop session anywhere.
There might be some giggly and clumsy attempts when you first start, but eventually, it can get quite competitive.
It’s a really fun and enjoyable way to keep moving. It helps burn calories and fats. Getting rid of a few extra inches should be quite easy with a hula hoop.
Cross the Obstacles to Fitness
Use furniture, pillows, tunnels, and more around the room or yard to set up an energizing obstacle course.
Set up a course that is suitable according to your children’s ages and skills.
Blankets, yoga mats, or foam mattresses can help keep children safe in the more challenging parts of the obstacle course. Typically obstacle courses include a lot of physical activity such as rolling, climbing, and jumping. An obstacle course will not only keep the kids engaged but will also improve their motor skills and concentration.
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Scavenger Fitness Quest
All scavenger hunts involve some movement, however, there are super-fun versions of this activity that specifically revolve around fitness.
You can conduct these indoors or outdoors, and you can adjust them for the fitness levels of your family.
Connect landmarks outside the house or items inside the house to different activities in a list. When a member finds that item or comes across the landmark, they have to perform the corresponding activity.
For instance, the list could have an entry that says ‘Find a step stool; do ten step-ups’.
You have the option of completing the list together as a family or dividing the family into teams and competing with each other. Remember to link items/landmarks to ‘take rest for a few seconds’ and ‘drink a few sips of water’.
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Stay In and Work Out
There will be days when you don’t feel like going out (or cannot go out due to weather conditions).
On such days, the family members can work out together at home. Set a timer for 10-15 minutes and lead kids in simple movements like jumping jacks, squats, and lunges with encouraging music.
You can lead with basic mobility exercises, encourage children, and keep track of their progress.
Let Rhythm Meet Health on the Dance Floor
Dancing tones muscles, improves coordination, increases mobility, and improves the condition of the heart and lungs.
These are just a few of the benefits that dancing provides. The best part about dancing is that it is a form of exercise that does not feel like a chore. It never gets boring.
You can just shake your body with spontaneous moves, or you could all enroll in a formal dancing class. Try out different styles of dance. Burn up the dance floor to burn those extra calories.
Simon Says Exercise!
Transform the classic and simple game ‘Simon Says’ into a playful family fitness activity. Take turns giving commands like “Simon says touch your toes” to work on listening skills and flexibility.
Young kids will learn how to replicate movements and move the correct part of their bodies in response to commands.
You can make it a non-elimination game. If someone makes a mistake in following instructions, instead of eliminating them, you could have them perform the same task twice.
Playful family activities that contribute to fitness are also great for strengthening the bonds between all the family members.
When you participate in fitness activities along with your children, you set a positive example.
Through such activities, you can cultivate healthy habits among your children. Fun family fitness activities can prove very beneficial in the long term for the health of all family members.
Sean Lynam is a fitness enthusiast and personal trainer by profession, and a freelance health writer by passion. Sean writes and shares his knowledge for a range of health, fitness, and nutrition brands.