The biggest influence of all on a child’s activity levels is their own family, as found by Women In Sport, who carried out a study with the Institute of Youth Sport Families. So finding fun ways to exercise as a family is really important and even more so if you have a daughter/s. They found that in the UK, by the age of eight, fewer girls are already taking part in sport than boys, and by 14 to 15 years old, boys are twice as active as girls. This was put down to a lack of role models, social norms about femininity, lack of confidence and negative experiences in school PE lessons all played a part.
Exercise not only puts you in a better mood, but it also puts your children in a better mood because of the endorphins released so for a happier family try out some of these fun ways to exercise together.
7 fun ways to exercise as a family
This has been on our bucket list for the last year and I still need to get myself a bike (it somehow got lost in a house move?!) Places like Grafham water are beautiful to cycle around and with little village pubs en route where you can stop for lunch, you can really make a day of it.
Swimming if a fab way to exercise and an important life skill to have. It’s not my favourite thing to do with the kids, but they LOVE it and it earns me serious bargaining points when we go. So I will occasionally pull on my big pants, literally, and go for them, but also for myself as making sure the toddler, who has no fear is safe, definitely burns off those calories.
I like going for a walk, a bit of fresh air and getting out of the house is good for the soul as well as your body and it can change a bad day into a better one! We love going to the Forest, stomping through puddles in the winter and stopping for ice creams in the summer. We recently joined the National Trust and the boys love exploring the new places with us.
- Family gym
For those with older kids our gym offers family gym time where you can go together. They have to pass an induction test first but it means you can help to show them the ropes and get in some gym time for yourself too.
We have tried geocaching and it has been a hit, definitely keeping you active especially if the 7 and 10 year olds are in charge of the directions. It’s free and relatively easy to do once you get our head around the fact it’s basically a modern treasure hunt.
Races such as the Great North Run also stage fun runs alongside the main race. And at 9am every Saturday, at 453 parks across the country, thousands of families take part in 5k runs organised by Parkrun. Or sign up for a colour or bubble run and train for a 5k together using something like couch to 5k.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.