Summer is over, the kids are back in school and your family has fallen back into a lockstep routine of bag lunches, after-school activities, carpools, and homework. How do you juggle work and school activities and still find time for family fitness in the fall, especially as the temperatures drop and the days get shorter?
Commit to a block of time each weekend for your family to be active…together.
Weekends are busy. You try to catch up on errands and ferry kids to soccer games and birthday parties, while finding time to work out and clear out your email in-box. But according to an article in the Journal of Pediatrics, “research suggests that there is a link between parental physical activity [and] involvement and their children’s activity.” Block out one weekend afternoon so your family can be active together. Include the kids in your planning so that they feel a sense of ownership; you’ll be impressed by their creativity!
Be creative. For you family fitness might be “working out” but for the kids it should be fun.
The weather is getting cooler and the leaves are changing colors; the fall is a great time to plan a hike. Get the kids together and tackle a nearby trail. Choose one with moderate hills so they don’t get too tired.
You could also organize a neighborhood Olympics or rent some bikes and explore a new trail or road. Run or walk a 5K for charity. Create a town-wide treasure hunt. Play hide and seek with the dog. Organize friends into flashlight tag or capture the flag or kick the can in a local field. Anything that gets all of you moving and laughing will make memories for everyone and leave the kids begging for more.
As the weather gets colder, look for indoor alternatives.
When it starts to get too cold for outdoor activities, move the fun indoors. How about a scavenger hunt in the mall? Does your gym have an indoor turf field, or an indoor basketball court? There are all sorts of fun things you can do as a family indoors, you just have to know where to look.
Add some individual options for your kids.
Fall is a great time for kids to get involved in team sports. There are plenty of youth soccer leagues, youth basketball leagues, and many other sports camps to choose from. You can support them by coming to their practices and games, or by providing snacks for the team. Team sports are great for kids. They help them build self-confidence and they give them the opportunity to make new friends!
Fall is great time to get the family out and about and active together. No matter how you choose to do it, family fitness is a great way to build a lasting bond and fun memories with your kids.