How to boost interest in family time!

2013July23_FamilyActivity_AThere’s no doubt that going to a gym or taking part in training sessions or exercise classes are all great ways to focus your fitness. But people with children often find it hard to fit in their exercises around their hectic family lives. But it is possible to combine both exercise and quality time with your children and instill in them the ideals of an active lifestyle.The key is to make active family time interesting and fun rather than being too simply fitness focussed.

Do you sometimes hang out as a family doing semi-active pursuits that lack a purpose or seem to tail off because one member of the family is bored or just not all that enthusiastic? Do family outings often lead to arguments because there’s less of a coming together than a falling out about what to do? The answer is to not just go for a walk or do an activity for its own sake, but to include some extra elements too, to keep interest levels high for everyone involved, whatever their age.

Challenge

Think about bringing an element of challenge to a pursuit. If you go for a walk why not set a target to where you’re going to go and see if you can get there within a certain time. Or try something completely different that is going to test you all as a family. The challenge can be big or small but should be enough to really give an activity an extra interest value.

Competition

Parents don’t want to be competing madly with their kids during an activity but a small and healthy amount of competition can really bring out people’s fun side and create a teasing environment that can be bonding. Think about an active pursuit you are doing and try and find if there is a competitive edge. On a walk it could be as simple as who spots or collects a certain number of x or y, and with more sports-like pursuits it could be to see who reaches a set goal first.

Discovery

Activities where you can discover new facts, ideas and information are a great way to keep the attention of youngsters. Even if your active day out isn’t intrinsically educational you can add in some elements of mystery, surprise and fact finding to keep youngsters exploring. It’s about creating a sense of adventure and a pioneering spirit. Young children especially love the idea of something hidden waiting to be found.

Context

Whatever you are doing as a family, you can transform an activity by giving it some context. Look at the geography of the area or location and talk about that. You could also talk about the origins of the activity you are doing and throw in some interesting historical facts. You might need to do some research but it’s amazing how you can bring activities to life by adding in color and a backdrop of stories and scenery.

Experience

Make sure at least once in awhile that as well as keeping the family running around and active, in an everyday outing, try and throw in some real WOW moments; experiences that will be remembered. These might be something you wouldn’t ordinarily do as a family, or a one-off adventure such as swimming with dolphins. But experiences don’t have to blow-out the budget. Think back to when you were a child and what’s stuck in your mind as a memorable time.

Skill

Children love to learn and finding an activity center where they can have guided fun is a great way to keep them on the move, as are sports. Is there an activity you can do as a family where you are learning a skill and feel a sense of progression? People love to experience a sense of achievement without the pressure of having to get there. Think of relaxed ways you can all learn how to do something active together and then go and have fun!

Silliness

Some parents are relentless when it comes to pushing their children forward into success. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with supporting ambition, there’s a danger that all work and no play makes Jack or Jill a very dull boy or girl and unhappy too. Sometimes what really gets your heart pumping and the adrenaline flowing is some good old-fashioned silliness. There are lots of fun days out to be had which require a lot of activity and a great sense of humor.

Give your family time a real boost. If you want to look after the health of your whole family then get in touch and we’ll inspire you to keep fit so you can lead a full and ever-active lifestyle!

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