As a single parent, you are your childâ€™s number one educator, role model, supporter, and mentor when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. By exercising and choosing healthy food items, you are creating opportunities for fun family fitness and teaching your child the importance of healthy habits. Exercise doesnâ€™t have to be boring or done in a gym. Lack of variety kills the motivation needed to work out regularly. The best way to keep yourself and your family in shape is to participate in fun activities that donâ€™t seem like exercise! Yes, this is possible. Here are a few creative exercises to try to spruce up your family fitness journey!
Use Your Legs
This may seem obvious, but in a world full of cars, escalators and hoverboards, walking seems like an inconvenience. Start intentionally working your leg muscles more throughout your day. When you are at work, opt for the stairs instead of the elevator. On your next store run, park further away from the entrance. Spend the day at the park and walk laps around the play area while the kids swing and slide. Brisk walking strengthens your heart, reduces the risks of disease and tones your legs and arms. Hippocrates stated, â€œWalking is manâ€™s best medicine.â€
Get in the Yard
Gardening is an effective form of exercise and something children can enjoy too. As you are pulling compost, your abs, stomach and legs are engaged. This too can burn up to 400 calories an hour. Ditch the convenient tools and get down and dirty. Designate a small plot for each child, and watch as they look in amazement at the vegetables produced by their hard work. As an added bonus, many children will enjoy eating their harvests, so toss it in a salad or your next dinner recipe for a healthy meal.
Revert Back to Childhood
Playing with your children is a great way to sneak in exercise. A quick game of hopscotch or hide-and-seek will get your blood circulating while working your arms, legs, back and glutes. If you are a fur parent, bring your dog outside for a game of frisbee or catch. Any time with family is time well spent, and getting fit while doing so is icing on the cake.
Get Involved in the Community
As adults it can be difficult to get out and socialize, so starting a community fitness group is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Advertise that your group is kid-friendly to encourage family fitness. This is a great avenue to foster friendships for both you and your child and set up future playdates. In addition, exercising in a group is very beneficial mentally and physically, and encourages accountability, structure and fun. Start a walking or jogging club by posting flyers around your neighborhood and commit to working out together a few times a month.
Get on the Floor
The dance floor, that is. Dancing is so fun and effortless, you wonâ€™t even realize youâ€™re burning calories and sculpting your abs. Zumba is a worldwide phenomenon that uses latin-inspired dancing as a form of high interval training. The average person burns 600-1000 calories in one class. This exercise strengthens nearly every muscle in your body as you move to songs that play 145 beats per minute. Grab a friend to take the class with you. The kids can join in too, and even if they canâ€™t keep up, they can enjoy wiggling and giggling to their own beat.
Keep Track of Your Progress
Donâ€™t make the mistake of thinking that since youâ€™re not in the gym, youâ€™re not getting ample exercise. In order to keep an eye on your progress, invest in a fitness tracker. These popular bands motivate you to move because you can see your efforts and set goals. Fitness trackers accurately display how many calories youâ€™ve burned in a day, how many steps you have walked and more. The use of an adjoining app will allow you to track your sleep, water intake and meals.
Unbeknownst to you, a majority of your daily activities include some form of exercise. Dancing, yard work, even playing with your kids boasts major benefits. Now that you are aware, put more effort into your everyday tasks and make it a family effort. Stay committed to being fit by getting creative with your exercise and give yourself the opportunity to enjoy family fitness wherever you are.
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