What's your definition of family fitness? Put it into motion on September 27, the 18th annual Family Health and Fitness Day! This national holiday promotes family involvement in physical activity and healthy living. Across the country, families can use this day to spend quality time doing their favorite physical activities and sports, while local organizations can celebrate the day by promoting the benefits of physical fitness and healthy eating.
Focus on Your Family's Fitness and Health
On your mark, get set, go! Obstacle courses are pure fun and can be easily set up in your backyard or your local park using items found around the home. Think: hula-hoops, tires, ladders, pool noodles, string, rope, buckets, cones, boards… the list goes on. Running the course will not only get your heart pumping but will also likely involve a few bloopers—and laughter is a great healthy habit!
Indoor Rock Climbing
Kids are always jumping on furniture and climbing trees, so why not put that energy into a family-fun activity? Rock climbing will teach kids concentration skills, build confidence, and give a boost to your family fitness regimen. To find a rock climbing gym near you, a quick Google search for "rock climbing gyms near me" should do it.
Visit the apple orchard for a sweet fall family outing. Apple picking may not seem like a typical workout, but you’d be surprised how many steps you take while walking around an orchard. Plus, the health benefits continue after you go home. Fresh-picked apples just taste better than anything you can buy in the store. The recipes you can make with them are too numerous to count, but one of the healthiest ways to enjoy an apple—besides just eating it by itself—is to cut it up and smear a spoonful of peanut butter on it. For extra crunch and antioxidants, sprinkle on some chopped walnuts.
Get in the Game
Instead of sitting on the couch and watching football, get outside and get active in your own game! Get all the family together and organize a touch football game. This is a really fun—not to mention free!— way to fight the lazy weekend slump and get in some physical activity too. And in the spirit of football season, after your game, fire up the grill with some healthy choices like chicken breast, sweet potatoes, or even romaine lettuce for a special salad.
Every child (including the grown ones!) loves the thrill of finding hidden treasures. A scavenger hunt turns up the fun factor and gets everyone fired up to win. Turn the activity into an educational experience by making the items relevant to nutrition (favorite healthy foods, the names of the macronutrients, etc.) or physical fitness (workout items, sports trivia, etc.).
This time of year, you're bound to find a corn maze nearby. Navigating its twists and turns is a simple and fun way to get in some steps. Plus, it requires teamwork, so you'll learn to work together to find your way out. With a mix of movement and problem solving, you’ll have a great time finding that finish line—and you might even break a sweat in the process!
There's a special bond between kids and bicycles. Bicycles represent fun, freedom, and fresh air —all the good things about being a kid. When you bike with your kids, you can enjoy a little bit of nostalgia and a whole lot of movement. Spend the day biking around town or head to the nearest bike path. No matter where you go, you'll get the benefit of fresh air and heart-healthy cardiovascular exercise.
Take a trip to the pumpkin patch and enjoy a day of family fitness and fun! With petting zoos, playgrounds, bounce houses, and other activities, there's enough going on to keep every member of the family active for a full day. When you’re done petting farm animals, hitch a hayride to the pumpkin patch or, better yet, walk, and have fun hunting for the perfect pumpkin to carve. While it may seem like all fun and games, there’s actually quite a bit of heavy lifting involved.
If going to a class isn't doable, you're in luck—YouTube is overflowing with yoga classes. There's sure to be one, or many, perfect for everyone in the family to enjoy. Yoga promotes two very important wellness factors: breath and flexibility. If you set the habit early in life, your kids will be more likely to prioritize fitness as they grow older.
Hiking and scenic walks in local parks are fantastic ways to exercise with your kids and teach them to appreciate Mother Nature up close and personal. Plus they're free! Get outside and walk while you talk. Tell your kids about the interesting plants you see along the way and animals that live in the area. Ask them if they can identify any of the foliage. Also, make sure to take some time to enjoy the noises of nature—birds singing, insects chirping, or water flowing.
However you decide to celebrate Family Health and Fitness Day, just make sure to use it as an opportunity for education and wholesome fun. What healthy activities will you and your family participate in to honor Family Health and Fitness Day? Share your plans with us!