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02.07.2011 / Get Your Family Fit in 2011

Creating a family fitness program can teach children positive, lifelong health habits and help us busy parents de-stress and stay active too. Here are 10 indoor and outdoor ideas for fit-focused quality time together.

"Family fitness programs can teach children positive, lifelong health habits."
  1. Park it! State parks offer miles of scenic terrain, indoor activities and winter adventures like cross-country skiing, horseback riding, snowmobiling and toboggan runs.
  2. Improvise indoors. Community recreation centers such as the YMCA, YWCA and campus sports centers offer countless indoor activities, including rock climbing, swimming, gymnastics, playgrounds, basketball, golf and more.
  3. Hit the ice. Join a game of pick-up hockey with your older children or take smaller kids to an open figure skating rink. 
  4. Catch a class. Check local community recreation centers, schools and studios to learn what classes are available for families, like mixed-age martial arts, dancing or other physical instruction.
  5. Saddle the snow. Sledding can be a fun way to get your heart rate going and the uphill walks are great calorie burners. 
  6. Bowl them over. Schedule a weekly family bowling tournament and let the winners pick the prize (such as “skip a chore” coupons or choosing what’s for dinner).
  7. Back it up. All you need is a little creativity to turn your backyard into an outdoor gymnasium. Ask your kids to organize a game of tag (it’s really fun in the snow) or, as the weather warms, consider hide and seek, badminton, volleyball or jump rope competitions.
  8. Put yourself in, Coach. Coaching a child’s basketball, volleyball or other indoor or outdoor teams can be a great bonding experience.
  9. Get wet! Get your whole family in the pool for underwater adventures like water sports, swim races and water aerobics. Check out local community centers and local schools for public swim programs and open swim times.
  10. Share the shape-up. Invite friends and extended family members to join in on your activities and encourage them to bring new fitness ideas to the table.

Do you have any fitness tips that your family has tried? Please share them.

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