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17 Family Fitness Challenges: Fitness Activities you can do with your kids
When you have a family sometimes it feels like you are torn between getting in a workout and spending quality time together. Instead, you should combine those activities through Family Fitness Challenges! Family Fitness Challenges allow you to improve your health through SUPER FUN activities you can do with your kids!
Simply choose a variety of fitness activities (we have included some great ones below) and plug them into your monthly calendar. As a family you can decide how many of the activities to include – a new challenge each day, or maybe just one per week. The “challenge” is for each family member to complete all of the activities listed within the calendar. TA-DA! Everyone is getting fit, having fun and spending time together –just the sort of thing we promote here at Simply-Well-Balanced.
Ideas for Family Fitness Challenges
Go to the park….a National Park!
****Through the National Park’s “EVERY KID IN A PARK PROGRAM” every 4th grader in the country is eligible to receive a pass which provides free access to national parks across the country for the entire 4th grade year**** Click here to receive your child’s pass.
This may or may not be available where you live, but I wanted to make sure to share this idea because National Parks offer a tremendous resource to families. I live about 45 miles from two National Parks, which we make the effort to go to because of some of the amazing outdoor programs that we use to keep our family active and fit while spending quality time together. We are lucky to have a free kayaking program and tons of hiking programs available to us through the Whiskeytown and Lassen National Parks. Check out your local park to see what they offer!
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DIY Backyard Obstacle Course
This one requires a bit of prep work, but the results will bring sidesplitting fun and some serious calorie burning. Check out this post from Imagination Soup about creating your own backyard obstacle course. If you aren’t able to purchase the items in the post look around for things you already have; pool noodles, hoola hoops, jump ropes and ladders are perfect materials for an amazing obstacle course. Have a swing set? Throw those elements into the course as well. Amp up the exercise factor by integrating “stations” ie: stand inside a hoola hoop and do a required number of exercises. Think jumping jacks, squats, or even just hula hooping. A great way to create memories and get your “fit” on at the same time.
Trampoline parks are popping up everywhere. Check online and I bet there is one near where you live. We have to drive a few towns away to get to ours, but it’s so much fun that it’s definitely worth the drive. Once you get there you can choose your workout via your standard “jump on a trampoline” or you can spice things up a bit with trampoline basketball, dodgeball or launching yourself into the foam pit (I find that trying to climb out of the foam pit requires the highest level of physical exertion for me). This fun filled family activity will leave you exhausted after an hour and your face muscles will be cramping from all the smiling. Seriously, you can’t jump on a trampoline without smiling….try it!
The Great Commercial Challenge
I used to try to do a variation of this activity by myself when I was single, but the family version is so much more fun. Before you all sit down to enjoy your favorite television show make a quick list of 5-8 exercises. Our go-to list usually includes jumping jacks, burpees, sit-ups, push-ups, jumping rope and squats. Depending on the age of your kiddos you might select different exercises. The “leader” shouts the name of the exercise and everyone gets started when the first set of commercials come on. Each family member counts their own reps and the winner is the one who has completed the most when the scheduled television show returns. Whoever wins gets to be the “leader” for the next commercial break.
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You will be amazed at the calories you will burn once they turn down the lights and you hear the first few chords of Tiffany’s “I think we’re alone now” blasting through the speakers. An hour of roller skating will fly by in the blink of an eye . Believe me, I know from experience! In the meantime you will cash in on some serious quality family time and some excellent aerobic activity. FYI they have invented these really cool “Skate Mates” that allow even the most novice skater to feel successful. I am not going to lie, I rented one for my son just so I could hold on to it and push him around.
Our local rink even allows parents to push kids in strollers. This is especially nice if you are nervous to skate or you have really little kids who can’t skate on their own – you get your exercise in while they sit back and enjoy the ride!
This activity is an oldie but a goodie. Turn on your favorite station and GET YOUR BODY MOVIN’!!!! This could be a fantastic kick-off to Friday Family Movie Night, or a boredom buster on a Sunday afternoon. The best part is that your kids will get their wiggles out (so they actually sit still during the movie) – and you get to check “cardio workout” off of your to-do list! Now that is a win-win! Here are a few of our favorite Pandora Stations that will get even the most reluctant toes tapping:
- Kidz Bop Radio
- Family Country Radio
- Boy Bands Radio
- Malt Shop Oldies Radio
GoNoodle (Teacher tested – mother approved)
It’s a rainy day, the kids are stir crazy and you can’t afford to go anywhere. I have the perfect activity….GoNoodle. “Using exercise science and cutting-edge research, all of GoNoodle’s activities have been designed to be healthy for the body, engaging for the attention, and beneficial to the brain in specific ways.” You can create an online account for free and select from hundreds of different activities that get your body moving and spending time with your family. They also have a Youtube channel where a lot of their conent can be found. I use this in my classroom for rainy day recess and PE and I have been known to break a serious sweat. There are tons of fun and super silly activities, but since we are talking exercise I recommend you check out the “indoor recess” channel. You can select a duration from 10-30 minutes. Think “Daily Burn” – but goofy and for kids! It won’t be long before you are humming “Pop-see-ko” while standing in line at the grocery store.
This is a favorite in our house for 2 reasons: 1) The weekend clean up gets done in 30 minutes 2) We get our cardio done. You can come up with your own guidelines but this is was it looks like in our house:
- Turn on some really great music (we recommend see Pandora Stations listed above)
- Set the timer on the oven (or phone) for 30 minutes
- START Cleaning! The rules are simple – no one stops picking up, putting away, sweeping, mopping, dusting until the timer beeps. If you do…no more electronics for the rest of the day.
You worked up a sweatAND cleaned the house in 30 minutes! There have been times that the timer beeps and nobody notices because we are having so much fun. Way better than a housekeeper (or at least that is what I tell myself).
Depending on your neighborhood, you have a few options here. This could mean grabbing some garbage bags and picking up litter, clearing brush, raking leaves, or painting over graffiti. Check out this awesome idea from MyKidsAdventures.com to turn your clean up event into a scavenger hunt. You’re not only going to be doing a good deed, but you will also get your booty off the couch and be active!
I remember being a kid and begging my mom and dad to let me wash the cars. There is just something about a hose and a bucket full of soapy water that screams fun for the entire family. In order to make washing the car count as exercise be sure to include as many cars as possible. Maybe even ask the neighbor if they need theirs washed too. Also be sure to take turns with the following responsibilities 1) Scrubbing with the sponge 2) Rinsing with the hose 3) Drying with a towel. Use a timer and see if you can get the entire car washed in 15 minutes. Super bonus if you bust out the car vac! This can also be done at an actual car wash (not the drive through kind) if you don’t have the space to do it at home.
Normally when you think of going to the playground you imagine your kids running around and playing while you sit on a bench. The apex of physical activity might include pushing your child on the swing. This is not the case in Playground Olympics. Each piece of equipment because an “event” and each family member becomes an Olympian. Practice your best dismount from the swings, show off your equestrian skills on the merry go round, or race across the monkey bars for the best time. Sure, other parents might stop and stare, but they are just jealous of how much fun you are having and how many calories you are burning!
Here are a few more that require very little planning and are fantastic options for families. Notice that they all start with “go”. This makes me think that you “go” do anything with your family you can’t go wrong!
- bike riding
- go for a walk
- horseback riding
- walk the dog (or offer to walk a neighbors dog)
The Family Fitness Challenges are so much fun! As a busy parent, there is no better feeling that multi-tasking .
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