Family Exercise Programs Get You Moving and Healthy

By Stephen Daniels

Today's parents are busier than ever! Between work, children and taking care of the home, you may think that there is no time for extra activities. Exercise is vital to your fitness as well as the health of your children. Doing activities together, as a group, is a great way to work in exercise, fresh air (if outdoors), and family fun time together.

There are so many great choices for family exercise programs that can get your family out of the house. Why not try taking advantage of the competitive nature of the majority of people? It's a good idea though, to ensure that the competition remains light and friendly. The idea is that recreation is a great time to get healthy, not create conflict. Some great traditional choices for competitive family exercise include bowling, tennis, and racquetball. Bowling can be enjoyed by all ages and is a fantastic way to get moving. It's also enjoyable to do as a family. Tennis and Racquetball provide a great workouts for people of all ages. Playing as partners can keep the games very different, and can make game time even more interesting. Play boys against girls or parents against kids and see who comes out on top. Of course, regardless of who plays better, everyone wins at the end of the day.

Many people who are taking charge of their physical condition are turning to personal trainers, and for good reason. A personal trainer is highly recommended for family exercise programs. You won't even need to see your trainer frequently in order to make a difference. Having a family session just once a week, or even once a month, can really help out. Your trainer will be able to create a curriculum for each member of your family. They also provide accountability. If you know that they will be checking up, you're more motivated to stay on target between visits.

There is a growing emphasis on spending more time together as a family. People are also more concerned about leading a healthy lifestyle. The good news is that these two goals can work well together. You can take family outings that promote a improved lifestyle. Some excellent examples include bike riding and hiking. Walking is also a great exercise that almost anyone can do.

All of these activities get you outside, interacting with the scenery, and also impart opportunities to get your family active. When taking a family bike ride, pick different routes and destinations to keep it interesting. Keep in mind the skill level of each participant in order to avoid a route that is too challenging for younger children. Provide plenty of water and bring a trailer or pack in case a little one wants a bit of a break. Not only will they get a break, but mom or dad will get a better workout as well. Whether you're hiking or biking, it can be a lot of fun to pack a picnic lunch to enjoy at the end of your trip. This gives kids a tangible goal to work toward and makes for a fun outing. - 30817

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