Count down to family fun! We polled Vida health coaches for their best advice for getting exercise—together. Here are their ideas, building up to the most popular suggestion.
10. Set up room for movement. If your living space allows, create floor space for pacing, resistance exercises like sit-ups, and cardio boosts like jumping jacks. Other ideas: keep barbells and exercise bands handy, for kids old enough to use them safely.
9. Walk or run for a good cause. Doing good and feeling good—what’s not to love? Team up with your family to do a charity walk, run, or biking event. Look for fun events that encourage families to participate—and finish—together. Also, the t-shirt, cap, or water bottle that are part of most events are reminders of your commitment to being fit.
8. Break for commercials—or the next episode. Don’t just sit there! Get moving in place. We like this suggestion from one Vida coach: Play "coach," in which you take turns leading others in fitness moves, follow-the-leader style.
7. Be silly. Kids usually like inventing. So invite them to come up with silly names for common exercises. Or ask them to make up silly exercises, for that matter. It’s OK to exercise with stuffed animals, action figures, or other toys, too.
6. Run errands on foot or bike. Walking instead of driving or riding transport is a simple way to boost your family’s steps and get things done. Take a few laps around the mall or big box store.
5. Have a sports night. In turn, let each family member choose a sport or activity to enjoy together. This is a good chance to teach each other, or learn something new together. Need inspiration? Buy a set of exercise cards (or make your own), shuffle, and pick a card—any card.
4. Take fitness classes or play sports together. Fitness and community centers often offer classes you can take together, whether infant yoga or family swimming. Partner and even pet classes are also popular!
3. Make chores active. Many hands make light work! Set up assembly lines and add extra bending, lifting, steps, or wiggles. You can set a timer to encourage a fast pace, race to see who can pick up and put away the most toys, or include a few intervals of sit-ups and leg lifts between tasks. The more moves, the better, while getting things done.
2. Plan to be outside. Enjoy the great outdoors—it’s a natural stress buster. Look for active pursuits, such as walking in a park, hiking, or using fitness equipment at a playground. After dinner is often a good time to be active and enjoy each other’s company.
1. Crank up the tunes and get down. Disco, electronic dance music, jazz—whatever your beat, introduce your family to favorite tunes and bust some moves. And that whole “dance like nobody’s watching”? Forget about it. This stuff is hilarious, and laughter gets your heart pumping, too.