How do I get my family involved in working out with me?

Here are some ways to help get your family more active:
  • Go for 60, every day. You need at least 60 minutes of activity every day. This includes playtime, exercise, and just moving around!
  • Transport yourself. Bike or walk to the library, to work, to school. Start a "walking school bus" in your neighborhood. Take the stairs -- always -- both up and down. And when you do drive somewhere, pair it with a walk. Choose parking spots at the far end of the lot. Return shopping carts at the stand farthest away from your car.
  • Play, play, play. Allow for lots of unstructured time for active play. Break out the balls, jump ropes, and Hula-hoops. Stroll the dolls or take the dog for a walk. Head for the backyard, park, or recreation center. Have fun!
  • Make it a family affair. Adopt active habits that everyone can do. Walk each night after dinner -- or play tag or Ping-Pong. Vacuum and sweep together. Do yoga or aerobics together every morning. Get a family pass, and hit the swimming pool or recreation center a few times a week.
  • Rev it up -- get aerobic! For 20 to 30 minutes every day, do something -- anything! -- that gets your heart pumping: biking, running, playing basketball, fast walking, skating, etc. To stay motivated, sign up for a fun run, a charity bike ride, or the school track team.
  • Stretch your body. Stretch a little every day, and set aside time for a stretching activity 2 or 3 times a week. Yoga, Pilates, martial arts, dance, and gymnastics all help with flexibility. So do the old favorites like toe touches, lunges, and side bends. Just remember to start off slowly with each stretch and back off if you feel pain. Relax. Smile.
  • Build strength. Do strength exercises twice a week. Calisthenics like push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and knee bends are best and easiest for most people. If you want to lift weights, keep them light. Teens and kids shouldn't use heavy weights unless a coach or other trained professional can help them lift safely.
Getting your family involved in exercise will be beneficial for you and for them. You can spend quality time together and have fun together while building individual skill, enhanced self confidence, and deeper relationships. 

Find out what your family likes to do and how you can do that together. You may also be able to play/exercise with other families. Your school, YMCA or local recreation center may have some family programs. If you have a Wii you may be able to incorporate that into your family fun time. 

By exercising with your kids you are setting a good example of the positives of exercise and being healthy.  

With so many options for kids not to exercise, kids are more unfit that any other time in our history.  One of the best ways to get your family involved in working out with you is by exercising together.  Making if fun and incorporating a variety of activities is key to keeping all family members engaged. 

Approach it more as a family activity not necessarily working out.  Find common interests that everyone would enjoy participating in.  Pick a couple days a week that you go play basketball, ride bikes or go hiking as a family.  Make it a fun experience for them.  If they have a positive experience they may be more open to do more in the future. 

Tina Whitlock
Getting healthy is defiantly easier when you have the support of loved ones. There are many ways to get the whole family involved. Try finding something everyone can enjoy together like family walks, hiking or bicycling. Or find a sport the family can play together such as basketball. If you have young children don’t just sit in the background, get out there and join them in active play. Don’t forget to have fun. Often you can spark interest in others just by enjoying yourself. Then when your family sees the positive effects the activity is having on you they may become more motivated to join you.

If you want your family involved in your exercise program start them off slowly. Ask them to join you and work to make it fun for everyone. Make it easy for them to integrate with your exercise program and try to provide education on the pros and cons of exercise. Incorporate the ideas and motivations that helped you to get started and use that information to help get your family join in on the fun.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.