Does your family have its share of couch potatoes? They’re the people who would rather sit around watching television rather than getting up and getting active. You may be wondering how to get your entire family fit. You may want to create a fitness challenge.
Start by finding out activities that everyone in your family is willing to participate in. This could be bowling, bicycling, hiking, running, or simply walking. Any activity you can decide upon that everyone will do is a good choice.
Once you’ve chosen the family fitness activity, you’ll want to make a fitness plan with the whole family. Look at everyone’s schedules and see what obligations the family has. Mark all of these activities on a calendar so you can see when everyone is available.
While it would be best if the entire family could do something together, that simply may not be possible. Perhaps one of the older children works after school. Another may play in the school band which requires them to practice every night. Mom or Dad may also have business obligations which keep them away from home more nights than not.
If everyone can’t do the same activity at the same time, you can have a competition of sorts among the family members. Consider measuring and weighing everyone to find out what their starting statistics are for the fitness challenge. This will be the baseline information to determine how everyone is doing.
Create a fitness journal for each person. You can find premade fitness journals online if you have the time to look for them or you can create one which meets your family’s needs. They don’t have to be complicated. The journal only needs a place for the date, a place to specify what activity was done, and several squares to mark off each 20 minutes of physical activity they did.
Set realistic fitness goals for each person based on their current age, health, and abilities. For instance, if one person in your family is very young, they’re obviously not going to be able to lift fifty pounds. Likewise, someone with health concerns isn’t going to be able run the same distance as someone who’s healthy. They may, however, be able to walk the same distance or at least work up to reaching that distance.
The American Heart Association (AHA) has indicated that people from 18-65 should participate in moderately-intense physical activity at least 30 minutes for five days a week. Or they can do vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for 20 minutes a day for three days each week. If the people in your family have been sedentary for a long time, you’ll want to work up to the guidelines from the AHA. It is also a good idea to check with your family doctor to ensure each person is able to become more physically active.
Once you have your family fitness challenge goals established, you’ll also want to determine some rewards for meeting those goals. Rather than giving food rewards, choose something everyone can enjoy that doesn’t relate to food. Perhaps you can plan a trip to the beach or the movies.
Remember the ultimate goal when trying to determine how to get your entire family fit. You want everyone to be healthy and happy. Create a fitness challenge everyone can participate in, set reasonable goals, and then celebrate each member’s successes with a family reward.