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Benefits of Families Exercising Together

WhatToGetMy Instructional Article

Everyone keeps talking about a healthy lifestyle and the importance of working out. We want to say more about the benefits of families exercising together because family fitness is not that common. Exercise is for every type of family, no matter how large the family is or the age of its members. Lots of activities can be adjusted into your lifestyle, so don’t be afraid to start working out together. You can easily find activities that the entire family will like.

Exercising together not only improves your personal health but helps your children too. It increases their self-confidence and reduces anxiety. Participating in family physical activities make them feel like they belong, so the family bonds are strengthened. Working out together has a larger impact on society too. It might be the solution to the societies’ problems because it lowers obesity rates and stabilizes families. To better understand all of this, let’s go through each benefit together.

Quick side notes (that we’ll surely discuss later):

  • Physical activities should be accompanied by a healthy diet. You need to teach your kids about the importance of nutritious food too.
  • Use active games and youth sports to keep your kids interested in exercise. Over time, they will learn to love exercise on their own, but in the beginning, you need to make working out fun.
  • You’ll be more motivated to exercise when you know that your kid is watching. Being a role model is very important for establishing healthy habits.

Bringing family closer

This benefit is the most obvious one. When you’re spending quality time with children by engaging in productive activities, you strengthen the family bond. The kids feel a connection with their parents through shared interests and activities. We all know the benefits of family relationships.

“Family time” should include more activities that just seeing a movie together. Exercise is one of them. You can work out as a team, whether you’re playing tennis or going for a jog. Focus on interactions and communication with each other.

Although, exercise is often a solitary activity, working out in groups has benefits you shouldn’t ignore. When you exercise in a group you have more motivation and will power. You have more confidence and your kids too. Confidence and self-esteem are essential for kids’ development.

When parents exercise regularly, children are more likely to engage in fitness activities too. You’re a role model, so you should set the right example. Furthermore, your kids will get to know you better.

You will also get to know your children. Shared activities enable you to see how kids react in different situations and what moves them. As a parent, you can encourage good habits and fix the bad behavior that your children might be developing.

You don’t have to exercise every day to achieve the benefits of family bonding. Although working out 30-45 minutes daily is recommended, a lot of people don’t have the time. In that case, you can have long workouts on weekends, preferably playing some sport outside.

Health benefits

What are the known benefits of exercising? Why should families exercise together? There’s nothing better than physical activities for maintaining good health. You want your kids to be healthy and grow up to be strong adults, right? Well, teach them how.

Children quickly embrace good things you show them at a young age. Consider these health benefits of exercising, so you can include family fitness at home into your everyday life.

Improves heart health

You need to keep oxygen levels in your body high and control your blood pressure. Exercise helps with this. You can teach your kids how to lower the risks of heart diseases, so they have a healthy future.

Manage blood sugar

Exercise will help you manage blood sugar and insulin levels. Keeping diabetes under control is also done with proper diet and quality exercise.

Nurturing mental health

During physical activities, your body releases chemicals that greatly improve your mood. When you’re more relaxed you can deal with stress efficiently. Reducing the risk of depression and anxiety is very important, especially for teens.

Strengthen the muscles

If you exercise regularly both your muscles and your bones will thank you. You’ll increase your strength and also prevent muscle atrophy that happens in a long period of inactivity.

Weight control

Along with a proper diet, regular exercise has an important role in controlling your weight and preventing obesity. Consequently, you will not only look better but feel better too.

Sleep improvement

It is known that exercise helps you fall asleep faster and sleep for longer. Your quality of sleep also improves.

Establishing lifelong habits

Outdoor and indoor family exercise should become a regular occurrence in your home. You will establish healthy habits and move from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active one. Kids should be moving from a young age, so you need to encourage physical activities as much as you can.

Children observe to learn. It’s the same with learning to be active and forming healthy habits. If your kids see that as a regular occurrence in your home, they will accept and embrace it. Foundation for an active lifestyle is built in early childhood. However, this should be your number one priority, regardless of your kids’ age.

You won’t have to worry about childhood obesity if you create a healthy environment at home. Keep healthy snacks around and nurture active play. Take your kids to the playground, sports practices and exercise together. That’s all it takes to create healthy habits.

Extra motivation and encouragement

If you have a strong support network, you’re more likely to stick with your fitness routines. There’s nothing better than active encouragement you can give each other during work out. This means more than the phrase “Come on you can do it”. When children see that you are making the same effort, they are more likely to be motivated to succeed. Vice versa, you will strive to perform better if your children are watching you.

Others can help you through the challenges you face. Maybe your kid has a problem with throwing the ball correctly. If you show him/her how and offer encouragement, it’s more likely that he/she will succeed. On top of that, completing one task with family support will build confidence and a sense of self-worth in your child.

Some children can even become more motivated to track their activity levels. We all know how much kids love gadgets and phone apps. Technology doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Allow them to use smartwatches and phones when you work out, so they can measure their progress.

It’s fun!

Let’s not forget what exercise is all about. People start working out to improve their health. After a while, they continue with their fitness routine because it’s fun! When you exercise you will feel fresh and unstoppable. Some people like playing soccer and others enjoy races, but everyone has something that brings him/her joy. If you find that “something” you can be sure your family will have lots of fun every day.

How to make a family fitness plan?

You have the reasons why you should start exercising as a family. Let’s now give you a brief overview of how to do it. As you will see, it’s the same as making any kinds of plans, which you probably do all the time. However, getting the family off the couch isn’t that easy. Especially if your work days are already exhausting. Try to follow these guidelines for a better chance of success.

Setting the goal

The first step for an effective plan is setting (realistic) goals. Do you just want to have more physical activities in your lives or you want to run a 5k race with your family? You need to reconcile your family’s abilities and desires. Make a joined decision about your fitness goal and be sure to stick with it.

Good examples

We already mentioned the importance of being a good role model for your kids. You (and your partner) need to lead by example. This applies to small things like walking to school instead of driving every day and bigger ones – regular exercise.

Use positive examples for encouragement. Don’t say something like “If you don’t work out, you’ll get sick”. Instead tell your kids something like “If you join me for morning jogs, your heart will be stronger”.

Praising effort, not results

You probably know that progress doesn’t happen “over night”. Don’t expect too much from your children. They might not be able to succeed on their first try, so be sure to acknowledge their effort instead of the results. You should let them know that the most important thing is trying hard.

Positive reinforcements go a long way. If your kid makes a healthy choice, be sure to praise it out loud. If he/she learns something new, make sure to brag about it in front of him/her. Not only will this boost your kid’s confidence, but he/she will start thinking about exercise as something good.

Finding time

This might seem like the hardest part. However, in the beginning, you only need about 2 hours a week. That can be 30 minutes workouts every two days or weekend fitness. Children, of course, need more active time. That can be covered with an active play like running, jumping rope, climbing trees, anything your kids usually like to do outside. When you get used to physical activities, slowly increase the time you spend on exercise.

Don’t wait for the end of the day to do fitness activities. You’ll probably be tired and overwhelmed. Instead, plan activities as a part of your normal day. Set your priorities straight. You should be rollerblading and riding bikes, instead of watching TV.

Choose activities together

If your kids are old enough, talk with them about fitness. See what they would like to do. What are their favorite sports? They are more likely to be enthusiastic about working out if they have a choice. Exercise should never be a punishment, but a fun activity for everyone.

Some family fitness ideas we recommend for beginners include walking (or hiking), jogging, playing sports (soccer, baseball, basketball), cycling, and swimming. After getting used to exercising together, you can add something else, discover new activities,  join exercise class, etc. Children love to try new things, so don’t be afraid to show them something unusual like Yoga, Rock climbing, etc.

Frequently asked questions

What is family fitness?

Family fitness is an active lifestyle for your family. Engaging in physical activities and eating nutritious food is all you need for a healthy fitness lifestyle.

Why families should exercise together?

As we said, exercise improves health while also strengthens family bonds. It reduces anxiety in children and prevent childhood obesity, a problem that is well known in modern times. You should, of course, talk with your pediatrician for a better understanding of the importance of physical activities.

How can you promote physical fitness in your family?

You can start by introducing fitness ideas in your family, being a role model for your kids, and finding activities they found interesting.

How much physical activity do kids need daily?

Children and adolescents should have physical activities for about an hour each day. The more intense activities should be done at least 3 times a week.

Conclusion

Now you know about the benefits of families exercising together, you’re probably thinking about introducing new activities in your home. You should be careful and not over push it. You want your kids to love exercise, so don’t force them to do something. Make small changes and give your family time to adapt. You know what they say “Slow and steady wins the race”.

You can include fitness activities anywhere, even at the beach. If you want to chill an entire day at the seaside, check out these beach games for families.

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