Fitness ideas for the entire family

Exercising as a family benefits everyone. As you work toward your own fitness goals, you set an excellent example for your children of committing to their own physical activity. So get creative and find ways to be active together, from playing tag with your toddler to rock climbing with your teen.

By Danielle P. Johnson, P.T.

If you're a parent, getting into the habit of exercising as a family will benefit both you and your children. As you work toward your own fitness goals, you'll set an excellent example for your children of committing to their own physical activity.

Want to make exercise and family time a top priority? You can do both — just combine the two to maximize your time. In fact, merging the two is a necessity for many busy parents. Here are some ideas for incorporating physical activity at every stage of your kids' lives.

Toddlers to preschoolers

Acknowledge and take advantage of the fact that your child is now on the move.

  • Explore a playground where you can run with your child. Remember, you can play on the playground equipment, too! If your child wants to swing, use that time to get in a few squats and lunges. If the playground has a jungle gym, try some pullups, chin-ups or pushups.
  • Play active games such as soccer, football or tag.
  • Make up your own family game that involves a unique combination of jumping, sprinting, lunging, squatting and crawling. You'll get your heart rate up and incorporate some body weight resistance exercise.
  • Create a scavenger hunt and race your child to finish the tasks.
Dec. 31, 2016 See more In-depth