Fun ideas for family fitness

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 1, 2014

Obesity affects people of all ages across the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of Americans are considered obese. Those extra pounds can be linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and several forms of cancer.

That being said, family exercise improves everyone’s health, makes exercise more fun and develops stronger connections between family members.

With a little creativity, you can find a way to make it work for everyone. Although, for busy families who find it hard to do things together, starting out small might be the better option.

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Try educating everyone about the benefits of exercise — in a smart and appealing way.

Here are a few ways to get everyone in the spirit:

• Tackling chores can count as exercise and working together not only gets you moving but also cuts down on the time it takes to complete tasks. Make it fun by setting chores to music or competing against one another to see who gets their task done first or the best.

• Compete in the pool. Swimming is a low-impact activity that works many muscles in the body. Try hosting relay-swimming races to see how long each member of the family can tread water.

• Create an outdoor obstacle course. Set up a series of obstacles in your yard and host your own triathlon. You can jump through tires, climb through tubes and scale trees. Make it fun by having adults try to ride tricycles or pair up an adult with a child for sack races.

• Go for family bicycle rides. Explore your neighborhood and blaze new trails by riding bikes together. Young children can ride in seats attached to the bike; this offers everyone a chance to enjoy the great outdoors.

• Hiking is another fun family activity that also happens to make for great exercise. Choose a trail that may not be level and push everyone’s endurance to the test.