To encourage exercise in your home, it’s important to weave physical activity into daily life in interesting ways. In addition to setting aside a formal time slot for a family workout, there are plenty of creative ways to get everyone’s blood pumping together.
Note – if familiar exercise plans, such as biking or hiking trips work for your family, then toss this article aside and get in gear! Yet if you’re seeking something new, here are a few inventive ideas to help you get your family’s little and big feet off the ground.
Pick Up Speed
Does your house resemble an obstacle course of toys?
Why not turn household cleaning chores into an action game? Give everyone a basket and on the count of three, see who can pick up the most objects. Encourage kids to check under the furniture too, as there’s always an unexpected item hiding under the bed.
Count down again and race to see who can return everything to the right place first. From missing game pieces to lost socks, this exercise always helps discover objects that you thought were long gone!
Push all the furniture to one side of the room, let your kids pick rockin’ music and turn down the lights. For a dynamic effect, hang a string of flashing lights across the walls and hand out flashlights to all dancers. With this funky backdrop, everyone will be inspired to swing their light beams to the beat and groove their body to the tunes. Dance technique and fancy steps don’t matter, as long as you’re all moving!
Navigate a Walking Route
No destination in mind? Open up a map of your neighborhood and have the whole family gather around. Then one person should close their eyes and point to a spot. Then map a walking route to get there, the more circuitous the better! Teaching your kids how to navigate with a map is an educational fringe benefit of this exercise.
Once you’re en route, there are plenty of games to be played, such as the classic “I Spy. For example, one person declares, “I spy a fluffy tail.” Then everyone else has to locate a furry creature hiding in the area.
Everyone should write or sketch a stick figure description of five different exercise motions, such as jumping jacks or crab-walking, on a small paper. Toss the folded papers into a jar. Every family member must then draw a card and do the exercise for one minute. Pass out pom poms to everyone waiting for their turn, so nobody stands lazy on the sidelines. Wave your arms, jump and cheer with encouragement!
Every season offers its own exercise opportunities. On a windy fall day, try to catch the leaves as they flutter by. If there’s already a colorful coating of leaves on the ground, then see who can rake the biggest pile. Or have everyone pile the leaves into one huge mound, and then take turns diving in!
Winter is the time for shoveling snow, which demands lots of muscle power. After the driveway is clear, do some calisthenics by making snow angels on the lawn. Then add some sizzle into the cold day by lobbing snowballs in a friendly snowball fight!
From digging and planting to weeding and watering, spring and summer blossom with gardening jobs for all ages. Once your kids choose their own seeds at the garden center, let them take charge of sprouting them into plants and vegetables. Aerating the soil with a hoe and spreading fertilizer are great ways to build strength.
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