Fun ways to get fit with your family!
Are you struggling to maintain healthy practices in your own life? What about your kids - are they moving their bodies more than they look at screens? No judgment here. None. Cross my heart. I was there, too. I was juggling being a mom, a wife and working full time. My fitness went on the backburner more often than not. That's just what moms do. We give and give, often at our own expense. When we're being pulled from all directions, our own personal sacrifice become habits, and that can up trickling down to the entire family.
Chances are, that unless we make fitness a habit now, our children will struggle, too.
But that doesn't have to be the case. What if I told you that there is a simple solution that will:
Help you prioritize your fitness
Help you look forward to working out
Allow you to spend MORE time with your family
Encourage healthy fitness habits for your entire family
Sounds too good to be true, right? WRONG! And like I said, the answer is simple: Fun Fitness!
Forget long commutes to the gym, forget dreading your workout. I'm serious. Forget it! Those things only work if you are consistent, and it's hard to be consistent doing something you hate. Don't worry about how many calories you are burning, it's much better in the long run to choose an activity that burns less calories per workout as long as you like what you are doing. That is how we create consistency, that is how we create results!
I am speaking from personal experience. I tried for three years to loose my baby weight after my second child. I had a gym membership, I did home workouts - but I hated it. I was essentially doing the 'yo-yo diet' but for workouts. I just didn't want to do it.
Then I found hula hooping. I bought a weighted hoop and I was able to do it while I watched TV or outside with the kids. I was able to keep it in my car and do it on my lunch break. Of course, there was a learning curve, but every time it fell, I did a squat to pick it up. The point wasn't being good, it was having fun, and I was! Before I knew it, I was dropping dress sizes and building confidence. That was 2013 and I am still hooping today. The best part is that I have kept the weight off all this time!
Having fun is the key to consistency. Most types of 'fun fitness' are great for kids and adults. What an amazing lesson it would be for our children to learn that it doesn't have be so hard to be fit. That moving our bodies should be FUN! What a concept, right!? How would your life look if you learned this as a child? Give that gift to your children! What are you waiting for - get outside and PLAY!
Here are a few of my favorite fun fitness ideas for families to do together.
Studies show you can burn up to 400 calories per hour with a hula hoop. You can find free online tutorials and online classes at www.MadAboutHoops.com Now, don't get caught up in the idea that hooping is just for kids. Hooping is for everyBODY! Doesn't matter your age, size or gender. If you have a body, you can hoop. Make sure you get a hoop made for adults. Beginner adult hoopers should start with a hoop that comes up to their belly button, or about 35" - 40". When it comes to hooping, size matters!
Who doesn't love a dance party? Get your heart rate up while impressing the family with your awesome dance moves. Check out these tips for throwing an epic dance party at home or try 'just dance'. You can download their game or find free videos on Youtube. While we're talking youtube, you can search for any type of dance and get free and fun tutorials like this Bollywood workout or Zumba dance workout. The point is, you don't have to have the best dance moves, you just have to have fun and move!
Not all yoga is created equal. If you took a class that you didn't like or have just always told yourself 'yoga isn't for me' - get rid that mindset. Just like hooping, Yoga is for everyBODY! Personally, I always thought you had to be fit and flexible to be a yogi - but I was wrong. I couldn't even touch my toes (or get close to it!) when I tried yoga. I opted for at home yoga to limit the pressure of the classroom setting. My favorite yoga for adult beginners is Yoga with Adriene. She has easy to follow videos and is perfect for new yogis! This is a great first video and great to do with the kids. If you have smaller kiddos, Cosmic Kids Yoga is my favorite! When my kids were little, they loved to do these videos with me and stayed engaged the whole time!
Now, of course you can choose any thing that gets your body moving as long as you enjoy doing it. Go for a walk or hike with your family. Try a geocaching game like Pokémon Go. Swim, jump rope, skate, do fitness challenges - whatever you do, just PLAY!
Make memories with your family and build a healthier future together.
Pictured: Amy Neel's family.
Amy Co-owns Mad About Hoops and runs the family blog @NothingbutNeel