Get family fit together
Helen-Louise Smith, Marketing Communications Manager
30 Apr 2020
Get family fit together
One of the best ways to keep active is to do it with a friend or as a team.
Getting active with others makes it much more fun and entertaining, and also means you can support each other when times get tough!
It has also been proven that being alongside a comrade makes you more likely to get up and get moving in the first place, and can also bring some friendly competition – helping you get more done than you would alone.
But what happens when you can’t attend your regular sports clubs, gym or exercise class?
Never fear, your family is here!
Whether you live with a huge family, or it’s just you and a housemate, you can make the most of your roomies and enlist them as activity pals. Here’s how…
Why is moving important?
Adults need to move for at least 30 minutes daily, while children should be getting active for at least hour a day.
Why keep moving? You’ll feel better, sleep better and on top of that it’ll help you manage a healthy weight, lower blood your pressure and keep your cholesterol levels in check. It’ll also help tire the kids out – great when they’ve been stuck indoors all day!
Anything that gets your heart pumping, warms you up and makes you breathe a little quicker will count.
Therefore, getting active together will ensure you’re all healthier, happier – and less likely to get into bad moods with each other!
Inspire each other
As demonstrated perfectly in our Parent Bootcamp Video [link to vid], getting active as a team is a great way to keeping your energy up. It’s also a great way to challenge yourself to keep going when you might be tempted to take the easy way out.
In the video Alice’s enthusiasm gets her mum and dad moving their muscles and burning off some excess energy, instead of staying in and watching the TV. Letting the kids take control for half an hour is a great way to get them involved, stimulates their creativity and teaches them leadership skills. It might also teach you something new!
Tip. Why not take turns leading activity sessions so everyone gets a go at being in charge? You could run a bootcamp or circuit training session, or turn the garden into an assault course - or come up with some silly activities that will get your hearts pumping! If you’re having fun, it still counts!
Of course, you don’t have to be a task master to motivate those you live with, just working alongside each other will be enough to ensure you have a good time and keep going.
For example, playing football, badminton or rounders in the garden is a great way to work as a team, get moving, and have fun! If you want something gentler, why not follow an online yoga or Pilates class together?
Or, for something outside your comfort zone, swap activates each day – if someone you live with is really into frisbee, why not do that one day, then swap with something that you’re keen on the next day. Who knows, you may discover a new activity you didn’t know was for you!
Perhaps the biggest advantage to getting active with friends and family is that you can unleash your competitive spirit - gold dust when it comes to the amount of effort you put in.
You probably don’t live with enough people to form a five-a-side football match, but you could…..
- have a penalty shoot-out,
- compete to see who can jump the highest on the trampoline
- time how long it takes you all to complete an activity, such as keepie-uppies with a ball,
- an assault course time trial,
- Or anything else that takes your fancy – you do what suits you, the abilities of everyone you live with and puts a smile on your face!
Tip. Not everyone in your household is going to have the same fitness or ability levels, so it’s important you choose activities that you can all enjoy without losing heart or confidence.
One way to ensure everyone is challenged is to vary the difficulty between adults and kids, take it down a notch for those who are less mobile, or have standing/supported/sitting versions of each activity.
Cover all bases
Coming up with new activities is great. So, once you get into a good routine, why not introduce some variation to your fun?
Not only will it keep up your enthusiasm, but it will also ensure you’re benefiting from different types of activity that bring different benefits to different parts of the body.
Moving around fast is called cadio. It’s great because it gets your heart beating, burns energy and releases those happy hormones. Dancing, running, cycling, scooting, jumping around, aerobics, trampolining are all cardio.
Each week it’s also important to do some strength and balance activities. These focus on making your muscles work harder than usual, are also a great way to increase and develop muscles. This is important for both growing kids and to ensure adults stay sturdy and strong as they age.
Handstands and cartwheels in the garden, calf raises while you cook tea, lunges in front of the TV, using tins of beans as weights, sit to stand and yoga are all great ways to practise strength and balance.
Tip: If kids find standing still to do strength exercise boring, why not turn it into a game and pretend to be ballerinas, superheroes, climbers or fairies? Perfect for doing indoors on a rainy day!
We love to see how you #KeepGMMoving – why not check out what other people are doing on the @GMMoving and @ThatCountsGM social media channels? And if you’re doing something inspiring, why not let us know!