Table of contents
Create an Effective and Fun Family Fitness Plan That Works
It’s no secret that making physical activity a regular part of your family’s lifestyle can be a challenge. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) notes that 60 minutes of physical activity is recommended each day for children aged six and up. Incorporating physical activity into your family’s schedule can help keep everyone healthier and more socially connected.
Creating a plan that works for your family’s specific needs and lifestyle can help make physical activity a regular part of your family’s routine. Here are some tips for creating a family fitness plan that works.
Start with a Goal
When starting any fitness plan, it’s important to have a goal in mind. Creating a family fitness plan is no different.
Creating SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely) can help you get started. Examples of a family fitness goals include:
• Visit the park for an hour each day after school
• Have a weekly family game night
• Go for family bike rides on the weekends
• Take a family walk after dinner each night
That way, you can measure your success and use it as motivation to stick with your fitness plan.
Find Exercise Options Everyone Will Enjoy
If everyone in your family is expected to participate, it pays to make sure everyone enjoys their exercise options. That starts with finding activities everyone in the family enjoys doing.
Some physical activity options that can be enjoyed by the entire family include:
• Martial arts
• Dance classes
That way, you can find activities that everyone in the family enjoys, which makes it easier to stick with your plan.
Set a Reasonable Schedule
It can be challenging for busy families to find time to fit in physical activity. Planning ahead can help.
Start by using a shared family calendar. Use the calendar to schedule in activities like trips to the park, family bike rides and weekly game night. That way, you can plan ahead and ensure every family member gets quality family time.
Be realistic and start with activities that don’t require a lot of planning or travel. For instance, if you’re short on time, scheduling in a quick walk around the block or some backyard games after dinner can help you all stay active.
Encourage Healthy Eating Habits
Proper nutrition is an important part of any fitness plan. Eating healthier can give your whole family an energy boost that can help fuel physical activities and help you all develop healthier habits.
Start by introducing healthier options at meal times, such as swapping whole-grain bread for white bread and adding fruits and veggies wherever you can. Encourage everyone to try new healthy foods and show your family that cooking together can be fun and tasty.
Be Flexible and Have Fun
It’s important to remain flexible when it comes to sticking with your physical activity routine. Sometimes plans change when unexpected things come up, and that’s ok.
Be creative with your physical activity and play as a family. Your kids can teach parents and siblings games they learned in physical education class, or you can come up with your own game idea. Having fun with physical activity can help make it enjoyable for your family.
Getting your family active and healthy is a great way to stay connected, spend quality time together and reach your health and fitness goals. With the right plan and a bit of commitment, your family can establish a routine and make physical activity part of your daily lives.