Transform Your Family Life With Family Fitness

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Making fitness a family affair can improve your health and that of your kids. Check out these tips from guest writer Sarah:

You may not want to hear this but I’m going to share it with you anyways . . . It’s late afternoon, maybe 4 or 5 o’clock . . .

Dinner prep is breathing down your neck . . . helping with homework is sucking up the last of your patience . . . and you’re feeling the miles you’ve traveled since the day began oh-so-long-ago this morning. You’re feeling tired down to your bones!

The last thing you want to do is round the kids up and jump on bikes. Sitting for a few minutes is much more enticing.

But imagine this . . . imagine if you did hop on those bikes . . .Imagine if you broke away from the downtrodden feeling of the late afternoon and took a quick tour of the neighborhood.

Everything might change.

How can I say this? Because for years, my family has done just this. Even though my husband worked a full day wrestling with wood (as a carpenter) and even though I was at my wits’ end with two little ones and all their mischievous ways, we made it happen.

Somehow or other, most afternoons, we got outside and moved. By hook or by crook. Bike or hike or chasing a ball.

If you’re a mom or a dad, family fitness is the one of the best things you can add to your family life. 

Today, I want to share with you the most important ingredient: Motivation. Namely, several reasons why family fitness makes life so much better.

1. Family fitness makes it easier to sneak fitness into your day.

Being a mom + exercising. Does this seem like an impossible combination to you? Sure, as a mom, there is never enough time. For anything. And multitasking usually doesn’t work. But not with family fitness.

Family fitness means you can spend more time with your kids and get in shape.

2. Family fitness instills healthy habits in your children.

I’ll admit, I’ve got a personal gripe against many of these programs directed at kids to inspire them to be healthy. Kids shouldn’t and can’t make these shifts on their own. It’s really a family affair.

When you make family fitness part of your family life, you’re making it easier for your children to live a healthy life. Instinctively.

It’s one of the secrets I’ve discovered as I’ve worked with my kids, as I’ve modeled to them healthy behaviors. They want to run outside. They want to eat an apple.

Lectures don’t work as well as action.

And just as importantly, seeing you doing these things alongside them is 100 times more powerful than any funky-tuned PSA.

3. You get an in-home set of personal trainers.

Talk about a failsafe way to get exercising regularly! Sure, it might take a little bit to get going. But once you get the family fitness ball rolling, everyone in your household becomes a personal trainer!

  • “Hey mom, can we jump rope?”
  • “Can you throw the football with me?”
  • “Honey, let’s gear up and go for a bike ride!”

It’s not just that guilty voice in your head any more telling you to get moving.

Everyone is egging you on!

4. Family fitness gives you an emotion escape valve.

Over the years, we’ve balanced numerous tough talks with our kids or disciplinary actions with a rough and tumble game outside.

There is nothing – nothing – that compares to fitness in helping you release stress, fight off depression, and cool anger down. Physiologically, this is how our body is built to take on these emotional maelstroms.

Raising a family is tough. Raising a family these days is especially tough.

Family fitness can help you minimize the internal explosions.

5. Family fitness strengthens family bonds like few other glues

Simply put – nothing can outdo spending more time with your kids for making your family closer. It can provide you with laughter and giggles – like Dad’s look when he first tried out a snowboard or my daughter’s dopey hiking hat. It can provide opportunities to try hard things and succeed.

Family fitness can mean shared struggles and accomplishments.

6. Family fitness provides unmatched parenting opportunities

I consider this the secret and most powerful family fitness benefit. The world is full of challenges. With family fitness activities you can teach your children how to take on self-doubt, develop resilience, manage stress and reach goals.

You can do this in the structured, relatively safe environment of exercise. And in most cases, these activities can be repeated. So your children can measure progress and learn to turn failures into success.

No one is better prepared than you to give your children the mix of unqualified love and straight talk they need to make the most of these experiences.

How do YOU make fitness a bigger part of family life?

— Since their kids were in the womb, Sarah Clachar, a professional health writer and educator, and her husband, a personal trainer, have been making fitness part of their family life. When they’re not writing, biking, or practicing kickboxing, they’re working on their small farm with their two children, ages 13 and 16. Ready to make family fitness part of your family life? Sign up for their 7-day FREE ecourse.

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  1. Thanks for the motivation! I always knew family fitness was important, but never really thought about all the ‘why”s. My husband is really good at “airing out” the kids in the backyard….practicing soccer skills with them, shooting hoops, having them help shovel snow, etc. I tend to do workout videos in the morning by myself, but I know I need to do better at joining the rest of the family and do the fun stuff outside.

    1. Lisa, so glad this inspires you. I had the same tendency but soon discovered that family fitness brought so much more than just fitness. I also combine the two – a little on my own and family fitness – so I get a little more exercise each day!

  2. When weather allows, my family (3 kids and two dogs) walk everynight after dinner. Sometimes the kids will ride their bikes, but my husband and I always walk with the dogs. It has really been family time for us and have done this for 10+ years in our marriage. It is also a great time for my husband and I to catch up on our days. We always put family dinner and family walk first every night!