Getting exercise is important but many busy families find it difficult to find the time. Gym memberships are expensive and many are not child-friendly.
The common complaint is that children stop adults from exercising as they can’t keep up or they don’t all enjoy the same activities. The key here is to take part in what is available free and there is a lot more out there than you might think!
Cycling as a Family
Cycling is one of the most family friendly activities out there. The UK is full of cycle paths and designated cycling routes and riding with little ones in tow is not as awkward as you might imagine.
From around the age of 7 or 8, most children will be able to manage a ride of around 2 or 3 miles on their own bike and younger children can be popped in either a tag-along cycle or in a child’s cycle seat which is designed to go on the front or the back of an adult’s cycle.
Tag-alongs are an excellent choice for children of 5 or 6 and up; as long as the child can be trusted to stay seated, they can choose to pedal or to rest and allow the adult to do all the hard work! Cycle seats are best for children under the age of 5 because they do not provide much leg room after this age.
If you do take your children out on a cycling trip, ensure that the whole family is kitted out in cycle helmets and high visibility vests; this is especially important when cycling in bad weather or where visibility is limited such as in woodland on designated cycle paths.
Check out suitable routes online, pack a picnic in a rucksack along with a cycle repair kid, a first aid kid and a mobile phone and away you go! Children love the freedom of cycling and there are some lovely sights to be seen along cycle routes.
Walking and Rambling as a Family
A wonderful way to explore your locality is to set off on an old fashioned walk. Look at maps online to determine a good place to explore and plan your route; or simply set of an go on an adventure!
Like cycling, it is important that you are prepared for all eventualities so do take along water, phone and snacks in case of unplanned events!
Another top tip for families is to pack light waterproofs for all the family, that way if you do get caught in bad weather, you will be able to carry on enjoying your walk.
Both walking and cycling are brilliant ways to keep fit; if you do not own bicycles, keep an eye out on auction sites and recycling sites, many people will sell good quality cycles for low prices and you can kit the whole family out for under a hundred pounds.
Fresh air, sightseeing and freedom all add to the joy that is getting fit on a budget; take advantage of what is on your doorstep and you will open up a whole new world to your family.