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Health & Wellness
Great Ideas for Family Fitness

The new year is in full swing, and I feel as though I still have butter oozing from my pores after all the holiday indulging I did. So like many of you, I committed to getting back on a plan to eat a bit healthier and exercise a bit more.

My husband and I worked hard last summer to get into shape. A more flexible schedule, extra hours of daylight and the impending threat of wearing a bathing suit on vacation made it a bit easier to stay motivated. But once the school year kicked off, and afternoons became filled with extracurricular activities and homework, we fell off the workout wagon.

You will find a slew of articles all over the Internet about how to manage squeezing in workouts when you’re a busy parent. But most of these articles assume you want to work out without your kids as opposed to with them.

But the fact is, it can be easier, more time-efficient and more fun to exercise as a family than to carve out time to get to a gym.

So let’s have a look at some resources we found online to help get you started with family fitness.

Our friends at Babycenter offer up 5 ways to get your kids active. One thing I’d add here – consider participating in whatever your sport your child’s into! If your son takes martial arts, sign up for a class together. If your daughter loves gymnastics, practice cartwheels with her in the front yard.

WedMD has some simple tips to take things you already do and supercharge them with a focus on fitness.

Fit Family Together put together a huge list of 100 family fitness activities. It’s all about broadening our definition of exercise and fitness beyond running laps or lifting weights.

One of my favorite ideas from this article by Catherine Holecko is “get a pet.” Dogs do NOT let you sit around and be couch potatoes!

How about a little family hiking? It can help you unplug, experience nature and have a little bonding time. Diapers –N- Heels has some tips to get you started.

Maybe the Polar Vortex is still cramping your exercising a bit? Spoonful shares some great outdoor games to play that will help you AND your kids burn off some steam. Many are designed for the snow.

If you’re stuck inside and can’t even get out for snow play, Mommy Poppins shares a bunch of great indoor activities that will help get your family moving and away from a cartoon marathon.

Or, take some of those outdoor activities that your kids love and turn them into indoor activities. Here’s a terrific list of ideas from Hands On As We Grow. I love the idea of making an indoor maze with tape.

Finally, know that you’re not alone. Take a look at these two videos featuring the Becks: a typical busy American family who needed to clean up their eating habits and get in shape.

How do you exercise with YOUR family? We’d love to hear your favorite activities.

Gigi Ross is a wife and mom of two kids (a 10 year-old boy and an 8 year-old girl) living in San Diego, CA. Gigi works as a content and community manager for Johnson & Johnson. A blogger and writer in her spare time, Gigi’s work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Babble, BlogHer and Mamapedia. She keeps her personal blog at KludgyMom.