Get fit with the whole family

Getting competitive with the kids, pushing your partner to the next level and improving your work/life balance. Getting fit with the family is the latest trend.

We’ve been getting some tips and advice on how we can work out as a family from Andy Brooks, master fitness trainer at Life Leisure.

Working in the fitness industry, one of the main barriers to exercise we always come across is people’s time. Nowadays people have busy lives, trying to maintain a work/life harmony is becoming more and more of a balancing act. Maintaining your role as part of a family is a priority and the well-being of your family is paramount.

Parents may go to the gym or go running, kids might be involved in their sport of choice, but with everyone doing different things this cuts into that work/life balance – add in the taxi service and quality time as a family is reduced to next to nothing. With this in mind it makes perfect sense to work out as a family – this combines getting time together with ensuring everyone is working towards and active and healthy lifestyle.

The first rule of exercising as a family is to ensure that it is fun for all! No one is going to stick with something that is a chore. The first area of activities is making small lifestyle changes that include exercise for all.

Government guidelines dictate that we should participate in lower intensity activities for 30 mins 5 times per week. As a family, this could be a walk with the dog, or in a park or walking to destination instead of making a short drive. Can you make a mundane chore into a fun family activity – such as the whole family working together to complete the gardening?

The second group of activities is taking part as a family in an activity that is sport related. There are a number of facilities offering indoor climbing, which is great for strength and cardio fitness – it can be hard to keep up with the kids on this one! Cycling as a family is a great choice in all it’s guises – on the road, riding trails on mountain bikes etc.

Running is a great option as it is cheap and you can do it anywhere. A movement that has gained in popularity over the last 8 years is park run – which people of all ages can take part in. great. Outdoor activities, getting out into the great outdoors and enjoying the natural environment; hiking, canoeing, orienteering, high rope courses and even skiing, if you want to go further afield.

A movement that is the fastest growing mass participation sport is obstacle course racing. There are more and more of these races appearing – a most of the big events now have family events added on to them to make them more available to families. Lastly there are the more traditional sports such as cricket and football, which are easy to access and can generally be played on public spaces such as parks beaches etc.

Third, we have organised fitness activities. A lot of fitness providers such as gyms, understand the importance of bringing families together to exercise together. Not only does it create that healthy family unit, but it promotes a healthy habit in the younger members of family which will hopefully last a lifetime.

Gyms and providers now look to offer activities such as family circuits, family boot camps and sessions that led within the gyms themselves. Another option that gyms offer are times where unstructured workout periods where families can come along and workout together.

Check out some of the classes that Life Leisure offer here.

Andy will be giving more tips and advice on Saturday morning’s Breakfast Show with Sam Roscoe.