Fully Healthy Families: How to Get Your Whole Family in On Your Health and Fitness Journey

Do you have children or other family members that you want to get involved in health and fitness? Here are five ways to get your family members involved in their health.

1. Family Fitness Classes

Many YMCAs and other fitness clubs offer family fitness classes, like cardio dance for you and your child. If you have an older child or another family member, consider taking them to a general fitness class. Even if you just go with your family members to the gym, encourage them to exercise, whether that be free weights, a fitness class, or a cardio machine. Many fitness clubs offer childcare for smaller children so that you can make heading to the gym a family affair!

2. Cook New, Healthy Meals

Another critical component of health is eating well, and that begins at home. Cutting down the sugary snacks and cereals, reducing the number of frozen meals, and cooking meals from scratch are all excellent places to start.  Cooking healthy meals and having healthy snacks available will help your entire family be more health-conscious. Even committing to cooking one new meal every week is an excellent place to begin. Cooking meals at home is cheaper, manages portion control, and brings your whole family together.

3. Encourage Your Family to Get Involved

Whether it’s after-school soccer or a softball league through work, getting involved with sports is a great way to engage with health in a fun, low-stress way. Encourage your children to join an after-school sport or a club like Girls on The Run. If you don’t choose to participate in sports through schools, cities offer recreational leagues for children 5-18. For your older family members, many towns and some YMCAs offer adult sports leagues. There are many benefits to playing a team sport– children and adults alike make friends, gain confidence, and learn valuable lessons.

4. Work on Outdoor Chores

From raking to shoveling snow, get the whole family involved outdoors. Planting a garden is an excellent place to start– not only do you get healthy vegetables and herbs or beautiful flowers, but you also get vigorous exercise. Working outdoors also is helpful for your Vitamin D intake. Vitamin D is vital for healthy growth and development of bones and teeth. Healthy amounts of Vitamin D enhance resistance to certain diseases as well. The exercise, combined with the intake of Vitamin D, makes working on outdoor chores something healthy for the whole family.

5. Choose Gifts Wisely

‘Tis the season for gift-giving! When choosing gifts for your family, be sure to select those that encourage fitness and exercise. For children, envision jump ropes, bikes, basketballs or soccer balls, or a new pair of running shoes. For your older family members, consider a fitness membership, a new pair of running shoes, or a fitness tracker. These gifts not only encourage fitness, but show how much you care for them.

Are there any tips that you have for getting your family outside? Do you have any fitness gifts for you or a family member on your mind? Let us know in the comment section below!

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