Workouts the Whole Family Can Do Together
I believe that there are two absolutely perfect combinations in life: Peanut butter and chocolate, and working out with your family. While the former delivers a few minutes of pure taste bud bliss, the latter provides numerous positive benefits, with many lasting long after the initial pleasure has ended.
So why should you work out with your family?
- You're Busy: If the number one reason for not exercising is lack of time, what could maximize your time better than working out with your family? It's quality time spent with both your spouse and your children, everyone gets their exercise in at the same time, and you are making memories that will last a lifetime.
- It's Fun: Working out by yourself is challenging for many because it is so solitary and can be extremely boring. Exercising with your family is filled with smiles, laughter and happiness.
- You're Setting a Great Example: Far too often parents operate under the "Do as I say, not as I do" principle, especially when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle. Our children look up to us as role models, emulating both our good habits as well as our bad. When they see mom and dad enjoying exercise, they will, too.
One of my absolute favorite forms of exercise to do with the whole family is The Hill Workout. It has all the necessary components of a perfect group exercise session: It's simple yet effective, it's functional, it's appropriate for all ages and fitness levels, and it's free. I do this very workout once a week with my wife and two boys, ages 8 and 11.
The Hill Workout
- Warm up by walking to a nearby hill.
- Pick out an object on the hill like a tree, mailbox, signpost, etc. Start with one that is close, roughly one that takes 10 seconds to run to.
- Run up together, then walk slowly back down to recover.
- Do this for 10 minutes or so, taking turns picking out different objects farther up the hill.
- Your walk home serves as your cool-down.
The biggest challenge we have as a family while doing this workout? Trying not to laugh uncontrollably as we run up together.