By: Jillian Warren
There was a time in my life when going to the gym required very little effort. I could simply think it and then I’d make my way there, working out for however long I wanted. I now have a family which includes a husband, two toddlers, and a dog, making my time much more limited for such activities. That’s not to say it’s not possible! I believe that if I truly wanted to work my tush off at the gym, I could make it happen - but I don’t know if it’s a proper fit for my lifestyle anymore. Between preschool, children’s sleep routines, meal prep, and so on, I need something that makes a little more sense for our time.
Of course, while there are supermoms and superdads out there finding time within their rigorous schedules to make it to the gym, I, personally, have had to find creative ways to get the family moving together. If you are looking for inexpensive ways to workout beyond the gym and get your blood pumping with the whole family, these simple, yet effective activities will do just the trick.
1. Go on a Hike or a Nature Walk
Getting out on a hike is one of the best ways to exercise because it has so many health benefits. Simply being outdoors and in nature can reduce stress and boost your mood improving your overall mental health. The physical side to hiking is obviously just as impactful, having the power to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cholesterol, high blood pressure, and more. Why not add your loved ones on the excursion with you, checking out interesting plants, breathtaking views, and learning about the wonders of nature along the way? Even the dog gets to come!
2. Take an Evening Bike Ride
Going out for a bike ride around the neighborhood is a fun and leisurely way to get a little sweaty. You don’t have to be going fast, just stay consistent in your ride and let the muscle memory move you. Bike riding builds strength, balance, and coordination which is not only beneficial for a grown adult, but it is especially important in growing children. With Halloween coming up, this is a great time to take an evening bike ride with kiddos and search your neighborhood for some spooky Halloween decorations.
3. Clean and Dance
When the chores need to be done, the fun has just begun. Make your next chore-filled day a silly one that involves getting low – and not just scrubbing the toilet! Blast the music throughout the house so that everyone can dance their hearts out while they pick up messes and dust. This is a special time to teach kids (and perhaps, yourself) that cleaning doesn’t have to be an awful experience, especially when you’ve got sweet tunes and good company by your side.
4. Make Yard Work Fun
Having a backyard for playing in is wonderful until you have to keep up with the maintenance. From mowing the lawn to watering the plants, the work never ends. So, how do you make this boring activity an exciting way to exercise with the family? Easy - think like a kid! For example, if the leaves need to be raked, make a pile and then everyone gets to jump into it! Trees need to be trimmed? Make a fort with all the branches you cut. When you are all done, make sure you all cool off by running around in the sprinklers. Yard work with children calls for creativity and maybe a little extra work, but is definitely better than JUST doing yard work.
5. Bring the WOD to Your Backyard
It’s not easy going to the gym with the whole family, but bringing the gym to your backyard is doable. And it doesn’t matter if you have gym equipment or not, this activity forces you to think outside the box and use whatever is available in your backyard. Start off by coming up with a workout routine, one that the whole family can do. Sit-ups, pushups, jump ropes, sprints, handstands, high jumps, lunges, and burpees are all easy workout movements for the whole family. If you are looking to add more weight to your WOD and don’t have much in the way of workout equipment, incorporate a rock or log to hold while you perform squats or lunges. This gives the whole family an opportunity to workout together and at their own level. One way to continue improving is with the use of workout gear. From weightlifting belts to wrist wraps, Lifting the Dream provides everything you may need to keep your body supported so that it can continue to progress on it’s fitness journey.
I should mention that going to the gym may have been easy at one time in my life, but it was never as much fun as getting to be active with my family now. I wouldn’t trade the chaos for anything.
How do you like to stay active with your family?