13 Frugal Ways to Get Fit As A Family
If you are like most families you are always fighting against the clock. However, one thing is for sure, fitness needs to be a priority in the amount of time that you are blessed to have each week. We have several different activities that we manage to work into our very busy schedule that are easy on the pocketbook.
1. Get outside and go on a brisk walk
This is one of our favorite things to do. We’ve lived in many different places as a military family so we always find the best places to walk locally. Right now we live 3 blocks from the beach, so we take nightly walks at the beach after dinner. It is a fun time of exercise, conversations, and bonding together.
2. Make a family “Olympic” competition
We do this twice a year and don’t limit our events to Olympic events to keep it easy for the younger ones. We come together and have a family meeting to decide together what “events” we are going to compete against one another. We have done such events as: 100 yard dash (have to keep it short for the little ones), jumping rope, push-ups, and Frisbee throw to name a few.
3. Play an intense game of tag
I cannot count the times that I have found myself feeling like I ran a marathon (and I’ve actually really run one before) after playing these intense games of tag with the family. I mean we really run for long periods of time – upwards of an hour – on all kinds of terrain. Right now we are usually either at the beach running in the sand or at some of the local parks with hills. It is always a good time, and always a GREAT workout!
4. Go hiking
This has got to be our families NUMBER ONE favorite activity to do for exercise. Don’t let the word “hiking” intimidate you. You can start off small and work up to longer and more difficult hikes. Our children worked up to 11 mile hikes while living in Germany in a period of two months (at the time our youngest was 2). You can do it!
5. Play frisbee
We use this Frisbee because where we live is rather windy. We are able to take it down to the beach and the park for lots of open running, competition, and fun!
6. Get out on a bike ride
Our family loves going on bike rides. We usually find a good trail in our area to maximize the safety. When the children were little we would haul them behind us in a bike trailer so they didn’t have to miss out on the fun!
7. Go swimming at a local indoor pool
We all love swimming and have a blast at local indoor pools. This is such a great, low impact way to exercise. And it’s usually pretty cost-effective as well! We think that swimming is a necessary life skill and are certain that each of the children are in lessons just as soon as they can be.
8. Take a dance class together
We have done this a handful of times and we all enjoyed it very much. Not only was it a great way to exercise as a family, but it also gave us another great way to bond as a family!
9. Go rock climbing indoors
This is always a blast. We went indoor rock climbing a few weeks ago and our 7-year-old beat the entire family in a “race” to the top! I mean he really let us have it – he beat us by a landslide!
10. Create an obstacle course at a local park
My husband is so good at this. He enjoys challenging our children in this way and takes great pride and joy in creating HARD obstacle courses at some of our local parks.
11. Go roller skating or ice skating
All I can say is FUN! We enjoy both roller skating and ice skating as a family. Not only do we get a workout but lots of laughs too. At some point, someone always falls due to showing off. And just so you know – it isn’t always one of the kids! Ha!
12. Nature walks
This is one of our absolute favorite things to do together as a family. We just go out and get lost in the woods – not literally – but figuratively! This is one place that our children (particularly our two young boys) can run and yell and jump as much as they want to and it’s OKAY. We often add treasure hunts to the ordeal and have a fun list of things that we need to “find” as we get our exercise!
13. Jump rope
This is a great one because you can do it outside or inside (a garage or room with high ceilings). We use these jump ropes because they are fully adjustable and make it easy to fit all 5 of us at our various heights!
We hope that this list can help inspire you and your family to get out and get fit together! Not only will you feel better, but you will have more wonderful memories to bond you and add wonderful conversation pieces at the dinner table!