Tag family fitness

Physically Fit Family

How to have a physically fit family.

When your entire family is working together towards a common goal, no matter what it is, your chance of success improves dramatically. The old joke asks, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is, “One bite at a time.” When your family is also focused on helping you eat the elephant, a seemingly impossible task gets accomplished in a much shorter time.

While eating an elephant is certainly an unenviable and impossible sounding chore, it is often times just as difficult for a family in today’s society to remain active and to stay fit and keep healthy. Processed and fast foods are everywhere, teens and adults are more sedentary than at any other time in humankind’s history, and mobile Internet technology has everyone’s face stuck in a smartphone or PC display.

That is why it is more important than ever to take certain proven steps towards becoming a more physically fit family. And actually, in many ways, the family dynamic can make physical fitness and better health easier to achieve as a team than it is on the individual level. Children are already conditioned to receiving direction from their parents, and parents are consistently and consciously striving to set the best example. This creates some easy-to-follow steps towards family physical fitness which will increase your overall chance of success.

Assign a Family Fitness Coach

All teams need a coach or manager who leads the actions of the group. Someone in your family needs to direct the physical fitness activities of your “team”. This works most effectively when it is mom or dad doing the coaching. Remember that the coach should set realistic but challenging goals. The family fitness coach should hand out schedules; provide input and motivation, and then follow-up on performances.

Schedule Family Fitness Outings

The different ages and fitness levels of your family members will dictate that not everyone can lift the same weight, run the same distance or swim the same length. However, team activities like hiking are excellent for overall body health, hiking is doable by everyone, and it also allows the family to bond. Schedule family fitness outings which get you and your children away from computers and fast food, and you will find your family growing closer together while also becoming more physically fit.

Incorporate Nutrition as Well as Exercise

It is well known that exercise and nutrition form the two most important components for physical fitness and health. Exercise is great, and as little as 30 minutes per day can deliver a significant health benefit. But correct diet and nutrition is important as well, meaning more fruits and vegetables, less fried and fast foods, more preparing your own meals and enjoying them as a family, and less artificial drinks and sodas.

Hold an Accountability and Rewards Night

To help achieve your family’s physical fitness goals, schedule one night a week where all members of the family enjoy a “rewards meal”, openly discuss their successes and failures of the previous week, and motivate each other for the week to come.

Especially with the children in a family, hard work delivering an enjoyable reward like pizza night and positive affirmations from other family members will go a long way to guaranteeing compliance in future fitness activities.

These are just a few of the simple and inexpensive ways even the busiest family can create a physical fitness attitude that is looked upon positively by all family members.

Try to schedule exercising and workouts at the same time and on the same days whenever you can, to instill a sense of order and repetition. Always reward yourself, your spouse and your children with positive input when it is earned, remember that everyone falls and stumbles from time to time, and the chance of success for your family’s physical fitness plans will improve dramatically.

Your Family Fitness Plan

This is how we put together a family fitness plan.

With kids spending more time in front of the TV and playing video games with less time outside playing, it is no wonder childhood obesity and juvenile Type 2 diabetes is at an all-time high.

If you like to exercise, get your whole family involved. Not only will it create some good family quality time, but it will instill good fitness habits in your kids.

Make it Family Fitness Fun

For kids to enjoy physical activity, it has to be fun for them. Swimming, sports and outdoor games all make getting exercise more enjoyable. Activities, such a flag football or kickball, can spark the competitive spirit to see who the “best” is. In the end, you are all winners!

Develop Your Family Fitness Plan Around a Cause

Exercising for your own well-being is one thing, however, it is not necessarily a cause shared by your kids, so make your family fitness activities benefit something. There are always “k” or fun runs of various distances for the whole family that raise money to support various organizations.

Scour your neighborhood and solicit pledges of money that will go to your cause when you finish the event. Your kids will get a sense of satisfaction knowing their efforts are helping out somewhere.

Plan a Monthly Family Fitness Activity

Kids like to look forward to things and what better thing to look forward to than a monthly family outing. If the weather is nice, plan to go on some nature hikes together or swimming. Afterward, enjoy a healthy picnic lunch.

In the fall, go to an orchard and pick your own apples or other fruit. Not only will you get exercise, but fruits are good for you to eat. If you get winter weather in your area, ice-skating, skiing or snowboarding are all great ways to get exercise.

Join a Family Friendly Gym

Kids love adventurous activities that challenge them. Find a gym that offers a rock climbing wall, kickboxing or martial arts. Not only will they get a lot of exercise doing these activities, but they will develop self-confidence in themselves. A high self-esteem leads to a more enjoyable life for them and decreases the chances depression, bullying or other self-destruction tendencies.

Set the Example

Generally kids look up to their parents. By you exercising regularly and eating nutritiously, they will adopt a similar healthy lifestyle as they grow up. Not only will they live a healthier life, but they will be more inclined to pass it onto their kids. Your actions today can set the example for a healthy lifestyle for generations to come.

How To Turn Your TV Time Into Family Workout Time

Many of us get into a routine of watching our favorite TV shows while sitting on the couch. But what if we could watch TV and exercise at the same time? Not only would be avoid the temptation to eat snacks that pack calories we don’t need, but we could burn some calories in the process. Avoiding calories and burning calories too – a win/win situation! Here is how to do it.

During the TV show, focus on doing several toning exercises while holding 5 to 8 lb. dumbbells. Do 10 to 15 repetition of each exercise until an advertisement comes on. During the advertisement, drop the weights and switch it up by doing cardio exercises. Once the advertisement is over, grab your weights and switch back to toning.


Good static toning exercises – basically exercising in the same space – include:

  • squats
  • overhead presses
  • lunges
  • one-armed rows
  • tricep extensions

All of these exercises work large muscle groups. As your muscles develop over time, they will require more calories to perform the same work. If you control the other variable – what you eat – you’ll lose weight.


Some good cardio static exercises include:

  • jumping jacks
  • virtual jump roping (jumping rope, but without the rope)
  • jogging in place
  • push-ups
  • crunches

Cardio during commercials is a good way to get your metabolism revved up. And the good thing is that it will stay up long after you are finished.

Taking It to the Next Level

If you have an elliptical trainer or treadmill, you can place either one in your TV room and exercise while watching your favorite shows. If on a treadmill, one idea is to walk during the show and run during the advertisements. If using an elliptical trainer, you exercise at a moderate steady pace during the show and increase your speed during commercials.

Alternating between static toning exercises and cardio during a 30-minute to one hour show, will get your heart pumping and develop muscles, all of which burn additional calories. Research has shown that even small bursts of exercise can burn an additional 500 calories per day.

Burn 500 more calories per day than you take in and in a week, you will have lost one pound. Losing a pound or two per week is a safe and practical weight loss. Diets that have you losing a lot of weight fast are not good as most of the weight you lose is water weight – most of which you will put back on once off the diet.

If you’re using an exercise machine you can rotate family members using it or switching back and forth between two or more devices. Another great activity is to combine dog walking with your family fitness plan.