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4 Ideas to Inspire Fun, Family-Friendly Health and Fitness Activities

Posted by: NJ Kids Contributors - April 22, 2016

Every now and then we need to check in on our family's health and wellness. Has your fast-paced, on-the-go lifestyle taken away any focus on your family's physical and mental wellness? Is your family's diet and fitness starting to slip? These four ideas can help your family kickstart a new regimen or pull you from a rut.

Get out Into the Neighborhood and Community

Move outside the household and motivate the family to get moving out in the neighborhood and within the community. Initiating events for your family and neighbors can help get everyone out of their homes and connect over fun, yet fitness-focused activities.

Rather than have your child heading over to his friends to play video games, plan a neighborhood scavenger hunt or treasure hunt for the littler ones. Incorporate exercises like 25 jumping jacks, burpees, pushups and mountain climbers to complete with each item gathered. Building a backyard obstacle course or planning a family Olympic Games with events like relay races, one-legged races and "carry the spoon" lets kids (and even the adults) have fun while being active. To get out into the community, sign up for a local 5K race. Not only can your family enjoy a fun fitness event, but you'll mostly likely support a local cause as well.

Start a 30-Day Family Fitness Challenge

Whole Family Strong features its Whole Family Strong 30-Day Challenge as a way to set and achieve goals as a strong family unit. To strengthen your bodies, plan varying workouts of different difficulties for five days with a two-day break each week. For a diet that powers these workouts, eat healthy, whole foods and avoid processed foods, grains, dairy, soy, legumes and processed sugar. This is a great opportunity to teach your family to love to nourish their bodies with lean meats, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts and good fats.

As the word "challenge" implies, it won't always be easy as your family progresses. Plan weekly rewards as a family like new sports equipment or athletic apparel. Or set it up so the fam can earn points with each workout or nutritious meal. Points awarded can go toward prizes like a fitness tracker, outdoor accessories (like protective sports sunglasses or hydration pack) or camping equipment for outdoor adventurous the whole family can embark upon.

Dance, Dance, Dance

Exercise doesn't have to be 30 minutes of jogging on the hamster wheel (aka treadmill). Especially for the littler ones, dancing gets the family moving to good tunes. Playful families should throw a dance party!

  • Throw a wild dance party by first getting silly, doing weird things and going with the flow. Introduce all types of music, from salsa music and African drums to oldies and pop tunes.
  • Create a happy, family-friendly playlist.
  • Play musical instruments (like a harmonica or guitar) for a parade around the house and to get those hearts pumping.
  • Throw a Saturday night fever disco party, '80s flashback bash or country western theme.
  • Use Disney's "Fit to Dance: The Ideas Dance Sheet" as inspiration for creating a simple dance sequence.

Discover Your Town, Explore Your City

Turn your family's health and fitness goals into a journey. Your town or city is full of outdoor destinations and health hotspots for learning about how to live a more nutritious and active lifestyle. Look online for local farmer's markets where you can teach your kids about organic foods and local fresh produce. Encourage your children to choose produce or foods that they'd like to incorporate into a healthy recipe for the week. Also, seek out new places and spaces for walking, jogging, running, jumping, skipping and playing. From a nearby park to even a high school track, these new places can shake things up and motivate movement outside of a gym.

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Posted by: NJ Kids Contributors| April 22, 2016
Subcategories:  Kids Health
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