For those of us who are still hunkered down at home with family right now, it may be harder to get in a daily workout. Instead of aiming to get in that solo session, now is a great time to include the whole family. Exercise has been shown to not only support mood and cognitive function but also have a positive effect on social connection.
Here are some ways to get in a family-wide sweat session:
- Host or join a virtual dance party. Crank up your family’s favorite playlist, and break out your best moves in the comfort of your living room. Don’t forget to invite extended family to join virtually too!
- Get them into yoga. Adaptable for all ages, yoga is a great way to get everyone moving and possibly reduce a little stress.
- Engage in some healthy competition. For those who can go outside, starting a household mini sports league or a one-on-one match in your yard may be a fun form of friendly competition.
- Let the little ones take the lead. When a child plays they often move up and down, run in spurts, and use their whole body. Encourage the littlest family members to pretend like they are their favorite animal and follow along. It may feel a little silly at first but there might actually be a lot of benefits to this kind of playful movement.
- Follow along with kids’ exercise programs. Websites like GoNoodle offer videos for kids to move and learn that the whole family can enjoy. Free2Play teaches foundational exercises that benefit both children and caregivers.
- End each evening with a walk, when possible. As the world continues adapting our new normal, creating a new routine—that abides by local social distancing mandates—can help with the adjustment. Going for a walk with the whole family can be a great way to get in steps, create memories, and connect us to the natural world. Walking right after meals has also been shown to help control blood glucose levels in those with Type II Diabetes.
- Get in the garden. For those with the ability to grow a garden, consider recruiting each family member to have their own role maintaining it. Weeding, raking leaves, and mowing can get heart rates up, plus some time spent in the sunlight has its own benefits, too.
- Find community. Every family has its own set of unique challenges during this time and maintaining health on top of this transition may feel overwhelming. Seeking new support systems who share the same values and similar struggles can help ease some of the stress. Fitbit Premium’s community groups are a great resource for connecting with others, receiving and providing support, and getting new inspiration for staying healthy.
- Inspire a tidy up challenge. Getting kids to clean up after themselves can be a challenge, so why not make it into one? Set a timer for 10 minutes, turn up the music, and ask everyone to tidy up as many things as they can. Not only can this encourage everyone to get in a short burst of movement but removing the clutter can ease some stress and encourage productivity.
- Be a role model. Not everyone in the household may enjoy exercise to the same degree but consistent modeling of an active lifestyle can encourage other family members to get up and move as well.
Enjoy free live workouts aired every week together with the Al Nakhla recreations team.