It’s hard enough to motivate yourself to exercise, much less trying to convince your whole family to join in. And yet, you not only want to stay healthy and fit so that you can provide the support your family needs, but you also want to be a good role model for your children, showing them the benefits of an active lifestyle. And of course, you want your partner and your kids to be as healthy and happy as possible. In other words, you need to make exercise a priority when it comes to your family’s routine. But how can you make this happen when you’re already so inundated by demands on your time, such as work, a daily commute, and the necessities of running a household, feeding a family, helping with homework, and more? It’s a tall order, to be sure, but here are just a few pointers for getting your busy family to include regular exercise in their regimen.
You might want to begin by taking a look at your schedule. If it is so chock-full of other obligations that you can’t carve out even a half hour a few times a week for some fitness activities, it’s time to rethink your priorities. When you consider the importance of the health of your family, not to mention the quality time you’ll spend with your loved ones engaged in physical fitness pursuits, you can surely find obligations that simply aren’t as important. And if you can find time to watch TV shows or surf the net on a regular basis, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t squeeze in some exercise. At the very least you can make it happen on weekends if your work week is just too busy to make regular exercise feasible.
Next you need to find activities that interest the whole family. Just because you like jogging, weight lifting, or yoga classes doesn’t mean your partner and your kids are into these options. So sit down and talk about what everyone wants to try. Kids, for example, might be more interested in the prospect of playing sports or even physical fitness games. They might want to try martial arts. Treadmills and other fitness equipment might work fine for older kids (teens, for example), but small kids could get bored and they might not be allowed on the machines (for their own safety). Just remember that you’re unlikely to please everyone with every activity. So find ways to switch it up so that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy their favorites.
If you like going to the gym, for example, there’s no reason not to spend some time at Fitness 19, where a kids club will keep smaller tots entertained while you, your partner, and older kids strive to stay fit by using available workout equipment and taking classes. You can alternate this practice with days spent kicking the soccer ball around the backyard or playing some b-ball at a nearby park. The idea is to get your family moving any way you can. And soon enough, what starts out feeling like a chore will become a daily activity that you can’t wait to enjoy with your loved ones.