Of course, we aren’t saying that the family that exercises together will stay together (i.e., no divorce) because there are other factors involved. But shared family fitness activities are certainly a great way to spend quality time with your family! There’s also the added benefit of the family being healthier and happier for it that, in turn, means less medical costs.
Getting the rest of your family on board a family fitness plan, however, can prove difficult for many reasons, such as the teens being more involved in their own activities. You can, fortunately, turn things around by keeping these tips in mind.
Keep Fitness Fun
When you bring up the word “fitness” with your family, you may get a few groans of disagreement, Fitness, after all, evokes images of “no pain, no gain” scenarios where fun isn’t part of the vocabulary. This is all too common, especially among children who would rather play videogames or surf the Internet.
You, the parent, must then make the effort of keeping fitness fun and here are a few ideas.
- Incorporate games into the fitness plan. For example, instead of asking the kids to go on a run, you can find activities that involves running, such as shuttle runs, badminton, and tennis. You should be able to find these types of activities in family-friendly gyms like American Family Fitness.
- Change up the activities. Instead of sticking to a single type of exercise, such as spin classes for the teens and parents, you can enroll in Pilates classes. The more varied the exercises, the more likely your family will stay interested in fitness.
You should also let the children see that, indeed, you are enjoying the exercises. Even in the modern age, children still look up to their parents for inspiration and motivation.
Choose Age-friendly Activities
Your children, no matter their age, will be interested in fitness if the related activities are suitable for their age and interests. You may have to find a common ground among yourselves, such as when the teens like swimming and you aren’t keen about it. You should also be prepared to compromise since you’re the adult and you want to set a good example for them.
For example, teenagers who like soccer may find running on a treadmill a good change of scenery, so to speak. You can then accompany them to the gym and get on your own high-intensity interval training workout, too.
Be realistic as it will not be so easy to transform a couch potato or a videogame addict into a fitness enthusiast. But with patience and perseverance, you may just have a family that exercises together and stays together.