We are a busy family just like you. We have an insane schedule with four kids. It seems like we are always carpooling about to separate kid’s activities. This summer, we really wanted to show our kids that staying active is important and that we can play together as a family and find fun ways to exercise. John and I work out on our own but this summer we started setting time aside for family fitness. We always try to put a little twist on our activity to make it more of an adventure. So far this summer, we have walked around our neighborhood going on scavenger hunts; gone to area parks and created “maps” from the new trails we take; went on a few nature hikes and, tried out new swimming pools around our city playing whatever water games the lifeguards will let us get away with – yes, John, my husband, has gotten the whistle blown on him at least once.
To mix up our family fitness, we sometimes head to one of the local high schools on a Sunday night and have family exercise night. We pick a theme. With six of us that can be a bit of a challenge. And we focus on keeping it fun not competitive. Tonight, in fact, we couldn’t decide between soccer or track so we did both.
We’ve found the older kids (13 and 11 year olds) can put in a solid 30 minutes of activities and the younger two (7 and 5 year olds) cheer us on while coming in and out between “half times”. Tonight, each kid took a turn around the track with me and they raced me. Each one of them beat me (yep, so much for keeping it non-competitive) , though I did give my 5 year old a run for her money. While they weren’t running or cheering me on, they were doing soccer drills with Dad or hamming it up for the camera. And the whole time, John and I focus on keeping it light. This is about the kids getting up and playing with their parents. Who knows? You might literally run across something they are truly interested in. After an easy mile run around the track tonight, our 13 year old said that he might try-out for track this year.