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Here are 17 fun ways to exercise as a family so you can achieve your goals while showing your kids the importance of exercise!
I’ve been doing such an amazing job with my workouts but let’s face it – getting away for a long workout at the gym isn’t always in the cards with two young kids.
As much as I absolutely love my kid free gym time and go 3 times a week, I make it a point to incorporate more exercise into our daily routine to get their little bodies moving too. My own fitness is important but keeping them active so they learn to lead healthy lifestyles is important to me too.
Exercising as a family is a great way to spend time together too. In a world that will pull every family member in all different directions, it’s a great idea to set time to get together with everyone present. Start it young and continue as your kids get older.
Family fitness activities don’t have to be too strenuous! Walking is great exercise for everyone but there are a ton of fun ways to sneak in exercise too.
Importance of Family Exercise
You know how when your kid repeats the bad words you accidentally let slip during a parenting moment of weakness? And they use it in context?
Kids model our behavior. Whether or not we even realize it, they’re watching and learning the things we do. I make it a point in my day to exercise in front of my kids and usually they join me by grabbing their toys to use as weights and try to do their own sit-ups.
If we want our kids to lead a healthy lifestyle, we have to begin with ourselves. From what we eat to setting aside time to read, kids will model what they see.
I always see better behavior out of my children when they run around outside too.
17 Ways to Exercise as a Family
Here are 17 fun family exercise ideas to get everyone moving!
After dinner family walks are great for the spring/summer. It’s still bright enough out and the sun isn’t blasting you (wear sunscreen is it does!).
Take a different route or head to a park to get your family walk in!
We LOVE dance parties!
It’s such a great way to shake out any excess energy and listen to music that isn’t Baby Shark. No seriously, it’s okay to listen to something other than kids music. You can also make a playlist of your favorites mixed with the kids’ favorites too.
Commercial Break Workout Challenges
Whether it’s a rainy day, the dishes are backed up or you just need a few minutes to collect yourself, sometimes we just can’t get away from the TV.
You can turn your commercial breaks during your episodes of Paw Patrol into a workout for everyone. If you have little ones, make it easier on them like squats, walking lunges or wall push-ups.
Here are a few moves you can do during your commercial break workout:
- Jumping jacks
- Running in place
- Walking lunges
- Push-ups (wall push-ups are good!)
- Skater hops
- Russian twists
- Ab bicycles
- High knees
- Tricep dips using the couch
This used to be one of my favorite activities.
Playing tag is a lot of fun! And also kids are fast so you’ll have to do your best to keep up!
Create an Obstacle Course
I love obstacle courses! They’re so awesome if you’re stuck indoors and a lot of fun if you can take it outside. You don’t need any fancy equipment to create any obstacle course whether indoor or outdoor.
For an indoor obstacle course, grab some pillows to jump on and set them a little bit apart to make it challenging. You can include chairs or tables to crawl under and blankets to do a pencil roll on.
For an outdoor obstacle course, check out THIS awesome chalk only obstacle course! I love this idea so much!
Obstacle courses are a great challenge for adults. Who can move like that anymore without working up a sweat?
Related: 30 Indoor Activities with a Toddler
Have the kids help wash the car. They’ll love getting suds everywhere and rinsing off the car. It’s great exercise for the whole family and can be a lot of fun too!
Pro Tip: Check the weather first but you know washing your car is going to make it rain.
Play with any kind of ball. We have so many different size balls to use that I just pick a handful and head outside.
My 4 year old loves to play catch or kick any size ball around. My 18 month old is catching up but mostly it feels like playing fetch with her for now.
We love doing animal walks! We learned a few moves at gymnastics, like the bear walk and crab walk. And everyone knows how to jump like a frog. Here is a really great video that shows how to do a few more animal walks too!
More Family Exercise Ideas
Here are a few more family exercise ideas!
- Bike Riding
- Miniature Golf
- Roller Skating
- Fly a Kite
- Yard Work
Tips for Adding Family Friendly Fitness
- Keep it simple! Any movement is good. Keep things simple and positive.
- Schedule it. This is especially important if you’re a busy family. Even if it’s once a week to start, schedule your family walk. Put it on everyone’s calendar and make it happen. I know if I write it down I am more likely to complete it.
- Let your kids pick the activity. If they pick the playground, get on those structures and climb with them. It’s a good way to work up a sweat!
- Include charity walks. Doing a local 5K Walk for charity is a great way to workout and give back. For younger children, bring your stroller but let them get some steps in too!
- Set workouts around other fun activities. My son LOVES Monster Trucks and NASCAR. For monster trucks, we set up pillows and use those to jump over. For race cars, we’ll create our track as well as a pit road to get some “gas” (water!). If you love football, play football in the morning before a big game.
How do you exercise as a family? What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate family fitness into your life?