In honour of today, September 25, 2010 being Family Fitness Day, a national health and fitness event for families to promote family involvement in physical activity. I’ve made a list of 10 family-friendly fitness activities that you can do almost any time of the year:
- Start a family Olympics
Set up a standing long jump and wheelbarrow and sack races. Adults and older kids can leave the main Olympic “stadium” (your yard?!) and do a three-mile race. Grandchildren can sprint, a la Carl Lewis, in your lawn. Consider inviting another family to join you in a game of tug of war–or for the entire Olympiad.
troll to a destination, such as a park (not an ice cream parlor!). To see how many steps everyone is logging, invest in pedometers. Some devices even read your pulse and estimate your calorie expenditure. You can go fancy or low tech. Start a friendly competition among your own family members–or among your neighbors. Who’s going to get to 10,000 steps first? To plot your route, use Google map’s pedometer feature. (Bring along your dog so he stays fit, too.)
- Play Frisbee
The old-fashioned flying disks make everyone smile–and run. If you’ve got a big yard or a nearby cul-de-sac, you can launch an Ultimate game. Otherwise, simply fling the Frisbee to each other. You won’t even realize that you’re moving–a lot.
- Hit the playground
(This is our family’s favourite). Walk there and chase the kids around the playground.
Let everyone pitch in with ideas for the route. Plan to go on a hike on Saturday morning, everybody gets a chance to say what they want to do, what they want to eat, how far they want to go, what trail they want to go on. For inspiration and routes, check out sites such as trails.com.
- Play tag
You’re never too old to run after someone. Who can think of a simpler, easier game for the whole family? You’re “it”!
Find a park district pool or check out your local YMCA. You can also use pool-finder web tools such as swim.isport.com. Bring along pool toys, such as colorful dive sticks. And play a friendly game of Marco Polo. (Make sure someone is acting as a lifeguard.)
- Ride bikes
Pick a fun route: check out sites such as mapmyride.com. This year Google added biking directions to its maps. When cycling with young kids, consider investing in a so-called tag-along or trailer bike that hooks to the back of yours. And if you really want to splurge, get a bicycle built for two.
- Play soccer
Did the World Cup inspire you? Buy a ball, find a field and get every generation to kick and block!
- Go jogging
You don’t need to train for a marathon. Just jog together. Be a role model, too.
Those are just a few of my ideas – do you have any others that your family likes? Please share them below in the comments – thanks!