Families today are so busy just trying to keep up with “life” and all that it entails, fitting any sort of exercise into our day seems impossible. We all know how important exercise is not only for adults, but also for children and teens – but we struggle with the amount of time it takes to pack a gym bag, drive to the gym, work out, shower, and drive home while still having enough time for family dinner. So why not create a family fitness program where you can get healthy while spending some quality time with your family? We came up with 5 family fitness ideas to get you started on the right path.

  1. Use the Wii for Family Fitness – Getting exercise while having fun is one of the best features of Wii games. Studies have shown that a child can burn more than 100-150 calories while playing a moderately active Wii game. With Wii, there is something for everyone. You can choose from the wide variety of games available to suite every talent and favorite sport. So pick up that remote and you’ll be surprised at how much fun you can have while getting a great workout.
  2. Pick a Family Sport – Most children are involved in some sort of sport or after school activity that they love. So… kick it into overdrive and make it a family sport. You can even choose teams and get a little competition going (if you have enough family members.) Taking an active interest in your child’s chosen sport or activity will leave a lasting impression on them for years to come. They will always remember how “Dad and I used to beat Mom and Sis every Sunday night at basketball.” Of course the added exercise is a major bonus.
  3. Take a Walk and Explore – Walking is the most basic form of exercise, yet we often take it for granted. All you need is a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood to burn some of those calories you ate at dinner. Gather up the family (and the dog) and have fun exploring. This may be a great time to talk about your day and get your children to open up about their lives.
  4. Feel Good Fitness – Get active while raising money for charity! Volunteer at a charity car wash, community walk or participate in a 5K run. You will not only get some good exercise; but you will also feel good knowing that you are supporting a great cause while hanging out with the family.
  5. Crank Up The Music & Get Dancin’ – Move the furniture to the sides of the living room or family room, load up the CD player with dance music and get dancin’. Most kids love to dance and move! It doesn’t matter how silly the moves are, as long as you are having fun and getting some exercise.

Since our lives are so hectic with all of our activities, chores and longer hours at work, we need to find creative ways to include physical fitness into our daily family routine. Try one of these ideas to get you started and eventually you will come up with your own creative ways to get fit as a family. Just remember… the most important part of family fitness is having fun and enjoying the time with your family. But, burning some calories is a nice bonus!