Family that exercises together, also stays healthy together.
These days, while the curfews have us back to being cooped up at home, with COVID scares, and other worries, more often than not exercise becomes a huge casualty.
The lack of motivation, inability to take out time to exercise, myriad everyday stresses make us skip it. This can be disastrous for us as regular exercise is a huge mood booster and immune activator.
This is why I believe these days, exercising together as a family and staying healthy together (as a family) is a good idea.
Besides staying healthy 'together' is easier and so much more fun—you just need to follow some rules to do it right.
How to Make It Stick?
You don’t have to do 50 push-ups and 75 sit-ups everyday to have a good workout.
Always think, fun first! Make it varied.
Exercising to the same aerobics tape day after day isn't likely to hold anyone’s (regardless of age) attention.
Nothing is as boring as the same routine over and over again. Not only will you get bored, your muscles will adapt and quit responding.
So, try to make every workout different in some way.
Your workout doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Even a half hour done every day diligently pays off in increased energy and stamina yet offer big fitness dividends.
- Get everyone in your family involved in fitness activity planning.
It helps to list and revisit the many benefits and reasons to exercise regularly as this increases motivation to stick to the plan.
These benefits include, increasing energy, losing weight, and cutting the risk of diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.
- Choose activities that are convenient to do.
The easier you make it for everyone to exercise, the more likely you everyone will make the effort.
Choose days and time that are convenient for the entire family. If your children are involved in after-school activities, or if you have late days at the office, be sure to schedule your family exercise time around these days or times.
- Choose exercises the entire family is able to perform.
Families with younger children should incorporate less vigorous routines for children.
You don’t want to discourage your children from exercising with a workout that isn’t child-friendly.
- Don’t overdo it.
If your family doesn’t seem particularly enthused about your new exercise routine, don’t push it.
Experts say it takes time to create a new habit, so go slow. Besides by doing too much too soon, you risk injury or other health problems.
- Find ways to keep yourself motivated
You can do this by writing out your goals and sticking them in a place where you can’t ignore them —like the fridge.
Don’t underestimate the power of rewards.
Why Do It Together?
- Become a role model
Most fitness experts agree that there's a world of difference between telling kids about the benefits of being physically active and showing them that fitness is a priority in your own life.
If you are not physically active yourself, your words are likely to lose their impact. Bottom line? You have to be prepared to walk the talk.
Show your kids that fitness is important by creating a family exercise routine.
- Get fun back into exercise
One of the great things about exercise is that it doesn't need to be done alone.
By exercising together, family members can keep one another motivated, and it will be more fun.
Boredom is the number one killer of good health and fitness regimens. Exercising with family puts the fun back into workout.
- Keep each other motivated
An exercise partner or a group of workout buddies can provide a boost to keep you going when you feel like throwing in the towel.
Remember, it’s not just about completing a set of exercises—getting together with others can become social events that all family members look forward to.
- Get better results
It's nice to see a family working out together.
When the entire family gets involved in the decision-making process, everyone is held accountable for his or her own actions and, therefore, more deeply invested in getting healthy.
(Kavita is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa))