Fit families have some things in common. They MOVE! When fit families have free time, they choose activities that are active and adventurous. Instead of watching a movie or going shopping, they choose to do something that will get them out and moving their bodies. I often think about activities that we can do that will make the kids need an early bedtime. That feeling of being tired from a fun activity is the best way to feel at the end of the day. Kids going to bed early is a HUGE plus!! Whoop whoop.
One of my favorite things to do as a family is to get outside and explore. Depending on the weather, of course, we love to load up the bikes and hit a mountain biking trail. When we have the kids with us, we choose a paved trail or a beginner mountain trail. Luckily, we live in a fantastic place for this. Early on when my daughter was young and my son was just learning how to ride on a rocky, narrow trail, my husband and I would take turns hiking beside the small one and riding with the big one. Either way, we were in nature, teaching our kids an amazing skill, and moving. Add in a little dirt and sweat, and we call that a GOOD DAY! Hello early bedtime for kids and a long bubble bath for momma!
If biking feels like too much of a commitment for the day, we will decide to go hiking. It is fascinating to hike to a new waterfall or to a fabulous view. This is a super fun adventure for the family. My ten year old son has a smart watch, and it is amazing how many more steps he takes on the same hike as I do. One reason, of course is that my legs are longer. However, the main reason is that he runs side to side, off the trail, up, back, down, around, and back again. He and his daddy love to run and “ParKour” off of logs, slanted trees, and rocks. We always come back dirty, exhausted, and hungry, but everyone has that amazing energy that you can only get from being outside in nature for hours at a time. Hello early bedtime for the kids and adult time for momma!
Finally, when the weather is warm, we go kayaking. This is another amazing adventure.
We own kayaks, and we have some fun places to put them in for free. There are tons of places in lakes, rivers, and oceans where you can rent kayaks and play for a while. You know that when you take the littles out in a kayak, they end up outside of the boat more than they do inside. You can also bring or rent a stand up paddle board. This serves as diving board. Swimming gets those babes worn out more than anything. Hello early bedtime for the kids and a glass of wine for momma!!
"Fitness SHOULD be fun. For kids, this means playing."
In real life, the weather isn’t always perfect, someone in the family is suffering from allergies, or you are in the mood to stay indoors. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be active and get the family some exercise. We LOVE going to the indoor trampoline parks or bouncy houses. This is a PHENOMENAL workout. It is so fun you don’t even realize the amount of calories that are being demolished. We love the trampoline parks where you get to take some aggression out and knock each other off into the foam blocks or aim for your dear loved ones while playing dodgeball.
Another fun indoor activity for the fitness loving family is ninja training. We have to drive an hour to get to this magical place, but it is SO worth it. The kids just let loose with all of their energy. This activity teaches my kids how to work hard for a fitness goal while keeping it fun. It is not easy to get up that slanted wall. I stop playing long enough to watch my littles work and work and fall and fall and work some more. When they finally make it to the top, the look of accomplishment is worth the amount of money and the drive to ninja gym. Often kids think that things should always come easy. This indoor activity proves to be a lesson of persistence and hard work.
Indoor rock climbing is another energizing choice when you are planning a fun day with your fam. Again, we have to travel over an hour to enjoy this activity, but it is so worth it. If you can find an indoor rock climbing gym that has a children’s zone, that is a HUGE bonus! My kids love climbing. When my daughter first started, she was nervous of the height. After the first time, she has no fear. She climbs and descends as magically as Spiderman. Be warned that your hands and forearms will ache the next day, but it is also a fantastic way to tone that bra fat area, Ladies. You know what I am talking about.
"Lead by example. Don’t just tell your kids they should play and get exercise. Show them that you believe what you are saying by doing it."
I know that you know that I know that you think you can go to these fun places and read a book, or chat on the phone, or check social media while your little bundles of joy wear themselves out. WRONG!! You need to play, too. Why? You are a fit family. You are a family that plays together. I promise that the hardest part is getting started. Once you are in the middle of it, allow yourself to have fun. Your kids will appreciate this more than you know.
When my husband and I are bouncing at the trampoline parks or doing ninja training, we are usually the only grown ups playing. That is fine. It is teaching our children how to be fit for life and how to have fun for life. It also teaches them that we value fitness and our time together. Our kids see that we are the only grown ups playing, and I can literally see the pride on their faces.
“They will be into it if you are.”
In conclusion, when you make fitness a lifestyle, you will enjoy the activities, the playfulness and closeness that it gives your family. You will all have the same goal of health. You will show your children that being fit and healthy is fun, enjoyable, and something to be proud of. Most importantly, you will have early bedtimes for the kids, so you can do your thing and RELAX.