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4 Ways to Get Your Family Fit

It can be less than inspiring to stay fit as a family if you find yourself barking orders at kids in a physical education class. 4 ways to get your family fit here. 

By
Ben Greenfield,
April 6, 2013

4 Ways to Get Your Family Fit

Next week, I’ll be doing a special joint episode with Mighty Mommy where we’ll announce exciting news about a fat burning program for moms everywhere. But in the meantime, you probably know that it can be less than inspiring to stay fit as a family if you frequently find yourself barking orders at kids in a physical education class, or simply shuffling everyone out the door for a 1 mile "death march." So here are my 4 top tips for staying fit as a family:

Tip #1: Get Equipment

Especially if you have younger children, look for the following items on Ebay, Craigslist, or elsewhere:

  • jogging stroller (you can get a double if you’re like me and have twins)

  • bicycle trailer (or jogging stroller than converts into bicycle trailer)

  • elastic bands or tubing

  • fabric-covered dumbbells

All of these items will allow you to either take your kids on the go during your workout sessions, or include your kids in home gym workouts. Check out my episode on How to Make a Home Gym for more details and tips.

Tip #2: Get a Gym Membership

Many gyms offer affordable or free day care centers. On most weekdays after work, my wife and I will go to our local YMCA, drop the kids off at kid care for an hour, work out, then grab the kids and head to the basketball court, activities room, or pool. By turning fitness into a family affair, you'll get your kids excited to accompany you to the gym, rather than dread an hour of "babysitting."

Tip #3: Create Competition

Although male children tend to be slightly more competitive, kids of both sexes enjoy competing, and setting up fitness competitions is a simple way to motivate kids to get physical. We set up mini-races for our boys in the basketball court (one line to another, or ladder sprints), we also do timed runs through the house or up and down the stairs (how fast can you get upstairs and back?) and even challenge Dad to see how many push-ups he can do with the kids on his back.

Tip #4: Imagine

Children have strong imaginations and, especially for younger kids, pretending to be their favorite animal, cartoon character, or superhero can help make fitness more fun. When my wife and I play tennis, and need to pick up the balls, our kids are squirrels and the balls are nuts to collect for winter. When we run through the park, they pretend to be race cars from their favorite cartoon. When we play with fitness equipment at home, they're superheroes. Make fitness fun and kids will keep coming back for more!

If you have more questions about how to get your family fit, post them now at Facebook.com/GetFitGuy. And stay tuned for my special joint episode with Mighty Mommy where moms will learn how to get back to your pre-baby body!

Group of tennis players on tennis court from Shutterstock

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