Many families don’t use fitness as a family time activity. Even if parents are into exercise, they don’t take the time or effort to motivate the kids. Sometimes it’s just hard to get the whole family involved. Here are some family fitness motivation tips.
Is your family less active than they should be? Are you trying to be a good example but the family is just not following your lead?
Keeping your family fit can be difficult. Here are some great motivation tips to help you keep your whole family fit throughout the whole year.
Make it a family activity
Children are much more likely to engage in fitness activities if everyone is doing it, even if you feel like you have to force them in the beginning. Create regular family outings. For example, ride your bikes or walk to school together. Go for an evening walk as a family. On the weekends, engage in larger activities like going on a hike. In the wintertime you can go skiing, sledding or snowshoeing. During the summertime hit up the pool as a family or go for a bike ride.
Make it mandatory
Getting the family out and active isn’t a choice. If you give children the option to come on a hike or stay inside and play on their computer, you know exactly what most of the young people today will choose. Instead, make it mandatory (they will get over it once they start having a good time). Consider including the family outing with other errands you might have. Go for a family hike and then go to the grocery and have the whole family choose healthy meals for the upcoming week (do a meal plan as a family ahead of time).
Model good fitness behavior
Children pay attention to what you do. When you are active they’ll be more likely to adopt an active lifestyle. When you head out to exercise, remember to keep your language positive. If your children think you view exercise as a chore, they will do the same. It can be hard to motivate yourself, but when you get the whole family involved, it gives you the added inspiration you sometimes might need. You become the leader and are there to help guide your family to better health and fitness.
Limit sedentary time
If your television, computer and gaming systems are turned off, your children will likely be at a loss for what to do. They’ll be more likely to head outside or to engage in active play. Consider giving them a screen time allowance. They’re allowed 1 hour a day, 6 hours a week or whatever fits for your family. That way when they use their allowance up, they’re done. No more screen time!
This can be one of the biggest factors in doing away with childhood obesity, which is on the rise in many families. Stop letting the TV babysit your kids. Make them get outside and do something. Even if they simply sit in the middle of the yard sulking. This may even jump start their imagination again. All too often the creative mind is suppressed from all the television programs and video games. Our children literally don’t have to use their own because they are too busy watching someone else’s.
Make it fun
Remember to find activities that your children enjoy. If you love hiking and your children really dislike it, then hiking is going to become a chore. If they love playing Frisbee, golf or playing at the local park/playground, then make time for those activities. When you pay attention to the likes and dislikes of everyone, then your whole family feels recognized. They’ll have a much more positive attitude about exercise. Of course, everyone needs to compromise once in awhile and do activities that other family members like, even if they don’t like it.
Getting active as a family is about changing habits. Look for ways you can get people off the couch and moving. Engage in activities that everyone loves. Whatever you decide on, make it a daily or weekly routine to get into the habit and above all, have fun!
Next up we’ll chat about fun outdoor fitness activities for the whole family.
Do you have any family fitness motivation tips to share?