Setting aside space for personal fitness as a busy parent can be virtually impossible at times. Time-crunched families also long for ways to build meaningful memories and spend time with one another. Why not incorporate both? Cultivate an attitude of healthy living and teamwork in your family. The options are endless, the cost free to minimal, but the memories are irreplaceable. Try these activities next time you have a few free hours.
1. Adventure Hiking
Hiking paths, walking trails, even city streets can be transformed into an adventure. Try out new places, talk about everything you discover, create a scavenger hunt to complete along the charted route. Keep a marked map of all the trails your family has traversed to reminisce later.
2. Visit a Track
Slip on sneakers and scout out your local tracks. Find a time when no teams are practicing or have an athletic event. Children enjoy trying out all the lanes, running down the long jump, and rolling through the center field grass. While kids burn off energy, parents can fit in steady laps or complete sprint intervals.
3. Swim Swaps
Pack up the family for a trip to the local pool. If your pool has a splash pad area, settle the kids in. One parent can supervise while the other takes twenty minutes to swim laps. Switch places and end your time together with some massive splashing.
4. Exercise DVDs
Many local libraries have extensive exercise DVD collections. Be creative with your work-out equipment – children love to lift stuffed animals as weights or use a special blanket as an exercise mat. Yoga, Pilates, Tae Bo, Salsa Dancing and Ballet can fill your household. Kids interpretations are sure to create extreme laughter.
5. Dig into Sports
Expose your children to many different sports. Compile a master list of all the sports your family wants to try and get moving. Changing things up is fun and helps your children discover the sports they enjoy most. Run the bases at a local baseball diamond, give the tennis court a try and retrieve the kids balls, gang up on Dad to score a soccer goal. Even the youngest family members can work through a Frisbee golf course.
6. Work with the Seasons
Take full advantage of the opportunities different times of the year present for fitness. Slip on rain boots and take a walk, jump through as many puddles as possible. Water balloon and squirt gun battles that include adults are sure to be a family favorite. Grab some hot cocoa and traverse a corn maze together. If snow comes to your area, bundle up and see how many times your family can climb the nearest sledding hill.
7. Stretch Imagination in Challenging Weather
When the weather prohibits outdoor activities bring the fun indoors. Take turns creating obstacle courses and completing them. Grab favorite stuffed animals and have them complete silly relay races. Strip all the beds of comforters and pillows, unpack the sleeping bags, and pile them into a heap. Bounce away, all the giggling will make up for the clean up afterward.
Kimberly Willis enjoys writing about exercise, nutrition, and saving money through Buy.com Coupons