As the saying goes, it takes all sorts to make the world go around. And this is especially true with regards to physical activity and exercise. But not enjoying exercise doesn’t mean being or becoming fit shouldn’t be a priority. For those who have families, teaching your kids to value exercise from a young age is incredibly beneficial and well, important.
What do experts say about exercise?
Studies show that not only does regular activity and exercise increase physical and cardiovascular health, but it also works to improve sleep, reduce stress, improve attention, memory and learning abilities, and decrease the risk of illness.
Experts suggest teaching your children to form a daily exercise habit from a young age by making exercise fun, interactive and something you can enjoy together.
Where to start? Here are a few tips for getting fit as a family. Read further for a list of benefits associated with regular exercise, as well as a few ideas for local exercise-centred family outings.
Family fitness tips & ideas
1. Go for runs, walks or bike rides
Learning how to ride a bike is a valuable lesson that every kid should learn, and it’s a fun form of exercise. Not into cycling? An evening jog, run or walk on the mountain or promenade is always a good idea.
2. Have a dance party in the living room
With winter setting in, daily walks in nature will start to become less frequent and practical, meaning it’s time for some home-based exercise, like a dance party in your living room. It may sound like a joke, but getting sweaty on the “dance floor” is an easy and fun way to get the little ones moving and tire them out before bed. Preparing the playlist together is a fun activity too!
3. Take a class together
Yoga, pilates, climbing and swimming are a few fun forms of exercise that the whole family can get involved in. Local businesses like The Movement Lab and YogaZone, among others, offer child-friendly classes that are perfect for introducing your little ones to your favourite ways to stay in shape.
4. Encourage involvement in team sports
A little bit of encouragement can go a long way with kids that have shown an interest in team sports. For example, if they like kicking a soccer ball around the backyard, chances are high that they’ll enjoy playing for a local soccer. The best thing to come out of being on a sports team as a kid? Making friends and learning the importance of working together.
5. Set fitness goals
Prioritising your goals is the first step to successfully achieving them. So when it comes to getting fit as a family, making a family exercise schedule together is an important practice. Who is involved in a team sport or an exercise club? Who has weekly exercise classes? Make a list and schedule time to exercise together, even if it’s only once weekly. Make this schedule work for your family and make participation non-negotiable, especially if you’re working toward a fitness goal together.
Benefits of regular exercise
Aside from an overall improvement in fitness and the healthy habits regular exercise instils in your kids, these are a few significant benefits of physical activity:
- Opportunities to socialise
- Building a stronger heart, body, muscles and bones
- Encouraging the development of skills
- Improving self-esteem
- Improving academic performance
- Enhancing emotional well-being
- Reducing blood sugar levels
- Controlling weight
- Helps lower the risk of cancer and heart disease
Getting out and experiencing new things doesn’t have to stop when you have a family. Here are some ideas of local exercise adventures fit for the whole family:
- Table Mountain Hiking Trails
- Jump4Fun Trampoline Park
- Aqua Crazy Family Swim Lessons
- Up Cycles on the Sea Point Promenade
- Dodge Ball SA
Whatever your preferred form of exercise, getting your little ones involved from a young age should always be a priority. And we hope you leave this article feeling inspired to start exercising with your family.