Getting the whole family fit and healthy can be a challenge, especially if some members are less sporty or active than others. Mum and dad will be tired after a week of working and the kids may be more interested in playing Angry Birds and hanging out with their friends than getting out for some exercise. As well as improving everyone’s health, group activities can also act as a bonding experience, bringing families closer together through a mutual challenge. Here are some healthy lifestyle tips you can use to get your family moving!
Include Everyone’s interests
Your kids are a lot more likely to respond positively if they at least have a chance of enjoying what you suggest. Don’t force them to do things they don’t enjoy because they will simply not engage with the activity. If they like computer games, why not buy a Nintendo Wii or Xbox Kinect; these consoles have various games targeted at improving fitness and giving healthy lifestyle tips, and can be a lot of fun for the whole family with dancing and sports-themed games.
Use nearby open spaces
Do you have a garden or park nearby? Pick up a football, a badminton set or a Frisbee and go to town. If there are four or more of you, make some teams for a friendly football match, or a game of ultimate Frisbee. Get the kids running and join in; you will be surprised at how much fun you are having.
Turn birthdays or holidays into active adventure days
Birthdays and holidays are the perfect excuse to get everyone out together with loads of fun locations that are perfect for families to visit for a fun and active day out. Make birthday gifts relative to activities such as dry-skiing, river rafting or even a visit to the Zoo. Go to the beach and have a long walk along the pier towards the rides or visit a woodland adventure area to bring out their outdoorsy side. Bicycles make great gifts (providing they are safe) as do various sports-related toys such as badminton sets, basketball hoops or even a trampoline.
Provide great incentives
If all else fails, providing your family with incentives is a great motivator. Make plans to go out to a favourite restaurant at the end of the week or promise a visit to the bowling. You might even want to consider getting a dog as they need a lot of exercise and kids can really get a lot out of walking and playing with them.
The above are just a few examples of what you can do to encourage the whole family to get healthier together. The most important thing is to have fun! Don’t turn things into military-like schedules and discipline or people will lose motivation quickly. Find something that everyone loves and make a real effort to help it become part of the normal family week.