Monique Tait

Monique Tait

May 4, 2024. 4 mins read

Parenting

7 Dynamic Family Fitness Activities to Keep Everyone Off the Couch

Finding time for movement and exercise can feel like a Herculean task in the fast-paced whirlwind of modern family life. But, the benefits of incorporating physical activity into our daily routines are as real as the pile of laundry waiting to be folded – think stronger family bonds, boosted health, boredom busted and a lifelong passion for staying active. 

Emotional mom and little daughter stretching together doing push and pull

For busy parents striving to juggle the sapping demands of raising kids, working and everything else in between, weaving family fitness activities into your everyday ethos doesn’t have to be rocket science. There’s plenty of ways to turn it into a practical and achievable goal that brings all the good endorphins, vitality and joy to your lives.

It Begins with Tech-Free Time

While we live in a world where use of technology is pretty much unavoidable, it’s important to remember that excessive device use is one of the major factors linked to inadequate physical activity in children. So, when it comes to family screen use , it’s important to set aside some dedicated tech detox time where the focus is on getting up and moving as a family without the distraction of screens. (But if you absolutely must game indoors, Nintendo Switch Sports gets people moving and kids jumping around)

Here are our seven top parenting hacks to help your family bond over blood, sweat and tears (Nah, just joking); we really mean fun and frolicking!

1. Dance and Play it Out 

When it comes to getting the whole family moving, think less ‘drill sergeant’ and more ‘fun police’. Designate time each week for family fitness sessions where everyone participates in a fun-filled activity such as:

Dance party:

  • A lively dance-off in your living room to Tay-Tay (for the Swifties out there)

  • Remember the kids’ game ‘statue’, that’s right, you can do it all over again

  • Games…not to be confused with gaming!

  • A playful game of chasey, hide and seek, catching bubbles in the backyard 

  • A ballgame or frisbee at the park

These activities not only encourage physical health but also strengthen family ties through shared experiences and laughter.

2. Garden Grooves

A more subdued family fitness activity but one that can help everyone live healthier and longer is gardening. Involving children in gardening is also a fantastic way to educate them about where their food comes from.

Don’t worry, there’s no need to move to a farm and go all in! Here’s how to incorporate gardening into your home life:

Start a small herb or vegetable garden in your backyard or, if space is limited, a few pots on the balcony, checking:

  • The right growing conditions

  • The right soil

  • Soil pH and fertility

Assign tasks suitable for their age:

  • Little ones can help with planting seeds or watering

  • Older kids can take on more responsibility, like weeding and harvesting. 

This hands-on approach not only gets the family moving, but also encourages a sense of responsibility and pride in eating food your little ones helped to grow, promoting a deep understanding of sustainability and self-sufficiency.

3. Chores as a Team Sport

Transforming family fitness activities while burning calories and getting things done by turning household chores into a family team sport!

Assign age-appropriate tasks to each family member, transforming mundane duties into a fun, cooperative way to enjoy physical activity

  • Younger children might be into sorting laundry by colour or helping to tidy up toys

  • Older kids can take on vacuuming, dusting, or even meal prep. This approach gets everyone moving all while teaching responsibility and teamwork!

Discussing the importance of each task and how it contributes to the well-being of the family can further help children with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Plus, it’s an excellent way for busy parents to save time, allowing for more moments spent together in leisure and play.

4. Active Commutes and Errands

Living in an area with good infrastructure? Then you could easily incorporate movement into your daily errands and commutes! For example:

If possible, you could encourage everyone to walk or cycle to school or the local shops instead of driving. The benefits:

  • Provides regular exercise but also reduces your carbon footprint (yay sustainable living!)

  • Helps households save money on petrol and vehicle maintenance. 

When travelling on foot as a family is not practical, consider these activities to incorporate more walking into daily life while chatting:

  • Parking further away or getting off public transport a stop early

  • Taking the stairs instead of the lifts

These small adjustments can make a larger than expected difference in your family's overall family fitness regime levels while promoting a healthy habit of choosing more active, eco-conscious modes of transportation.

5. Family Walks and Rides

Often the ease and simplicity of walks around your neighbourhood is fun enough to entertain the kids. This time is about reconnecting with each other and the world around you, away from the digital buzz. It's a chance to talk, laugh, and learn from each other in a more engaged, present manner. 

But for adventurous spirits and to rekindle the appreciation for Australia’s beautiful natural landscapes head for a weekend hike or a bike ride through:

  • Local trails or bush

  • Hills

  • Waterholes

  • Beach boardwalks

6. New and Traditional Sports

Embracing both the excitement of new sports and the time-honoured traditional sports, families can dive into a world of family fitness activity and nostalgia.

Explore new sports and activities 

  • Head trampolining and jump around at Bounce

  • Try rock climbing or badminton

Enjoy and play traditional outdoor games and activities

  • Swimming at the pool or beach

  • Running 

  • Tennis

7. Yoga

Yoga sessions offer a wonderful opportunity for families to come together, unwind, and reap the benefits of improved flexibility, strength, and relaxation. Here's how you can make family yoga sessions a fun and enriching experience:

  • If you’re a yoga newbie check out a yoga YouTube Channel to guide you through

  • Choose a suitable clutter-free space

  • Clear a room or backyard to give enough room to place mats or towels

  • Start with some easy breathing and stretches (for their sake and yours!)

  • Keep talking to your littlies during the process

  • Do standing and balancing poses

  • Make it fun with noise or pretending to be animals

  • End with some mindfulness and relaxation techniques

The results are in: integrating family fitness activities doesn't have to be a daunting task! 

Remember, the goal isn’t perfection but progress. Each step counts, so lace up those sneakers, grab a watering can and pump up the tunes. You can help your family enjoy the numerous benefits of an active lifestyle, from enhanced health and strengthened family bonds to a deeper appreciation for sustainability and the natural world. 

The best memories are made by having experiences over things so make the most of your family fitness adventures!

Monique Tait

Monique Tait

Mothering . Wife . Founder . Chicken Wing Aficionado .

When she's not scouring the city for the best fried chicken joint, she's busy being a parenting superhero, starting with her new toy swapping app called Sassybae. Because let's be real, what better way to show your love for your kids than by swapping out their old toys for new ones? Monique is on a mission to make parenting easier, one wing and one toy at a time.

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