For some of us, exercising is the cherry on top of an already wonderful day, or the thing that makes a bad day good. For others, working out just feels like another task added to an already busy day. Maybe you'd rather be spending precious hours with your kids, spouse or other family members, or perhaps they could all use a bit of exercise too. Get everyone off of the couch and make it more fun with these family-friendly workout ideas:
- If the weather isn't optimal, do a fitness DVD together, which will likely be entertaining and prove to be a good work out.
- Turn on some music and clean the house together, which will burn a lot of calories between dancing and scrubbing the floor. You will also be doing three important things at once: keeping the house clean, getting some exercise and spending time with family.
- Train for a race together. Sponsored walks, half-marathons and various fun-runs are all the rage right now, and they often have shorter distance events for kids. Choose a race or walk for a good cause and train with your kids and spouse to get some quality family time.
- Head to a new public park that you've never visited before. Spend the day walking and exploring together.
- Celebrate special days like birthdays or holidays off from school with fun physical activities. You can bike together to get frozen yogurt or head to a local wilderness site for camping, hiking and connecting with nature.
- Visit a working farm together. As we become more urbanized as a country, we are less connected to where our food comes from. Many farm owners are trying to remedy this and get a little help by offering opportunities to work on a farm for a day. You and your kids can volunteer your services – cleaning up, pulling weeds, caring for animals or working in the garden – and also learn more about our food system. You'll burn some serious calories from all the walking and working, and your kids will learn respect for animals and nature.
- Organize a neighborhood-wide or extended family sporting event like a soccer, softball or kickball game. This will be a lot of fun for everyone and you'll hardly know you're getting a workout!