Families and fitness work out great if you can find the right mix and match of activities for everyone involved. Making fitness an important part of your family goals will take some time and commitment, but if you make the commitment you will see a change for your whole family. Setting fitness or weight goals is a great first step, the second step is to make a schedule, the third step is having fun and the forth step is setting a reward. Work together as a family to set your family fitness goals and keep weight under control.
Step One – Setting Goals
As a family you might have a goal to get healthy or stay healthy, but understanding what that means for each individual in the family is very important. Moms, Dads, teens and younger children will each have goals that are more specific to them. So when making your goals for weight or fitness, incorporate a family goal, but also help each individual set their own personal goals as well.
A good family goal might be to participate in a 5K together, hike a local mountain, bike the path around the lake or any other goal that you as a family feel would be fun and reachable for every member of the family. Then sit down as individuals to decide what additional goals you want to work on for yourselves. Maybe your teen wants to be able to do 10 pull ups at the school fitness test, or your youngest wants to be able to jump rope 100 times without stopping. Listen to your kids goals and help them make workable goals that are reachable.
Step Two – Make a Schedule
Set a schedule for family fitness time. If you don’t take the time to make a schedule it will be easy to forget and not follow up with the goals you have set. Make smaller amounts of time during the week and longer periods of time on the weekends to accommodate school and work schedules. Add additional sessions for small groups to work together if a couple members of the family have similar goals. For example, maybe Dad and teenager both want to build upper body strength, then schedule time at the gym together, just the two of them.
Step Three – Have Fun
Family time needs to be fun. Even though you are working on important fitness goals, you should still be able to keep things fun and interesting for the whole family. Plan fun fitness activities into your schedule like playing tag, swimming or going to the local playground. By adding fun activities you will keep your kids of all ages interested in maintaining their fitness levels and you will naturally be keeping their weight under control, as well as your own.
Step Four – Rewards
A good family fitness program will need a reward that the family as a whole is working towards. Make this personal to what your family would enjoy, but not food related. Perhaps you all want new bikes for your trail riding or you want to go on a vacation to the beach. Work together to plan your reward based on everyone in the family reaching their goals. If one family member reaches their goal before others, work together to help the remaining family members meet their weight and fitness goals so you can take pride in the reward as a family.
Keeping your family’s weight under control can easily be done with fitness goals set for your family. Use your family fitness time to build communications skills, strengthen family interaction and work towards a family goal. Make your fitness time fun to encourage a lifelong appreciation of fitness and weight management.