Being active is important for physical AND mental health. Getting active with your family can bring you closer and help build healthier habits. While organized sports, gym memberships, and fitness classes can be great options for many families, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to get and stay fit and healthy. Here are five fun ways to move more without breaking the bank. While these activities are designed to be accessible to people of all different abilities, please remember to be mindful of your own limitations and those of your children. Don’t start a new exercise routine without first checking with your and your child’s healthcare providers.
Take a walk
Walking is a great type of exercise for any fitness level. Take your family for a walk around the neighborhood, go for a hike, or find a nearby track or park to walk. You can even walk around the mall! If you want to up the difficulty and add some variety, you can try intervals of jogging, skipping, or galloping.
Have a dance party
Spice it up! Dancing is a fun exercise that doesn’t require any special equipment or skills. Turn up the music and dance like nobody’s watching. Try out different music styles to find your family’s favorites. This can also be a great way to explore different cultures. If you want to get more advanced, there are tons of videos online that teach all different types of dances. You could even try something like Zumba or an Afro Beat workout, which are designed as a workout. To make it more accessible, you can even try a seated dance workout.
Start a friendly sports game
Many children participate in organized sports, but you don’t need to be on a formal team to try out sports like basketball or soccer. All you need is a ball and a place to play. Many parks have basketball hoops or soccer fields you can use when they aren’t in use by formal teams. You can also play variations on traditional soccer, basketball, and more. Play as a family or invite other families to join in the fun. Sports are also a great way to build gross motor skills and practice teamwork and friendly competition.
Play an active game
From endless versions of tag to unique races for every skill level, there are lots of fun and active games to play as a family. Even a simple game of Simon Says can incorporate activities liking jumping jacks, toe touches, and other fun and easy exercises. These games can also help children practice following instructions and rules.
Try out yoga
Yoga can be a fun way to work your muscles and practice deep breathing. It doesn’t require any special equipment. If you’d like, you can get a yoga mat. You can also use a small rug, blanket, or towel instead. There are lots of videos geared towards kids and families, using simple poses. You can even do yoga while seated in a chair!