With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, finding the time to exercise can be challenging — especially as a family with young kids. However, maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is possible, no matter how busy life gets! Here are some fun ways to incorporate fitness into your family’s daily routine, helping you stay active and healthy together.
Family Walks or Bike Rides
Encourage your kids to appreciate the beauty of the natural world while burning off some energy. Indianapolis offers an abundance of scenic parks perfect for family hikes, such as Fort Harrison State Park, Eagle Creek Park, Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park and Holliday Park, to name a few. If your kid likes to bring a bike or scooter, they can easily do so on the Monon Trail or the White River Canal Walk. Consider planning weekly or bi-weekly nature walks as part of your family’s routine so you can explore the great outdoors together.
Outdoor Games and Sports
The family that plays together … has more fun! Organizing outdoor games and sports activities is a great way to promote physical activity and friendly competition between kids and grown-ups. You can easily do this right in your yard with games like badminton, cornhole, bocce ball and croquet. Additionally, local parks and community centers have basketball courts, soccer fields, and tennis and pickleball courts where your family can enjoy a friendly game. During the warmer months, the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience at The Children’s Museum is a great way to introduce young kids to a variety of sports, including mini golf. Don’t forget about active outdoor games like tag, hide and seek, or capture the flag.
Joining a family-friendly gym can be an excellent way to stay active together. Look for fitness centers in your area that offer family memberships and family-oriented activities, such as the Monon Community Center or your local YMCA. Many gyms provide dedicated family zones equipped with activities like swimming pools, climbing walls, and workout equipment suitable for children and adults. These facilities often offer classes and activities tailored for different age groups, making it a fun and interactive experience for the whole family.
Home Workout Sessions
If you prefer to exercise within the comfort of your home, family workout sessions can be a great option! Look online for beginner-friendly exercise videos, free apps, and subscriptions that offer guided workouts. There are even some great video games that incorporate sports and fitness. Getting your kids started with aerobics, strength training, or yoga alongside you can yield multiple benefits, including the flexibility to fit it into your family’s daily schedule. Kids of all ages might enjoy finishing off the night with a spontaneous living room dance party, which provides a great cardio workout.
Want a sneaky trick for getting kids involved in fitness? Make it a challenge! For example, see who can do the most push-ups, sit-ups or hold a plank the longest. Have the kids help you set up an obstacle course in the backyard using household objects or in the living room using pillows, furniture and household items, and time each family member as they go through it. You’d be surprised how much cardio you can add by incorporating stair climbing into your route.
Fun Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat More Mindfully
- Incorporating exercise into your family’s daily routine is just one aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Getting kids excited about eating nutritious foods is equally important! Here are some tips to make healthful eating more enjoyable for your little ones.
- Get Them Involved: Let your children be part of the meal planning and preparation process. They can help choose recipes, shop for ingredients, and even assist in the kitchen. Kids are more likely to eat foods they’ve had a hand in making.
- Make Healthy Choices Fun: Turn mealtime into a fun adventure. Create themes for dinners, like “Taco Tuesday” or “Salad Bar Sunday.” Let your kids build their own tacos or salads with a variety of nutritious ingredients.
- Limit Sugary Drinks: Encourage your children to drink water or unsweetened beverages with meals and set the juice boxes aside. You can infuse water with fruits or herbs to jazz up plain water and make it more exciting!
- Offer Healthy Snack Options: Keep healthy snacks readily available. Cut up fruits and vegetables, storing them in easily accessible containers. When healthy options are convenient, kids are more likely to choose them.
- Set a Good Example: Children learn by observing. Be a role model for your kids by making healthy food choices yourself. When they see you enjoying nutritious meals and snacks, they’ll be more inclined to do the same.
Balancing a busy family schedule with a commitment to exercise may seem challenging, but it’s entirely achievable! And remember, when it comes to physical activity, making it fun and engaging can go a long way in encouraging your kids to participate.