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Family, fitness and weight loss

Family fitness and weight loss

Exercise and weight loss can be hard to maintain without help. Fortunately for many of us, help is close at hand and comes in the form of our family.

Making exercise a family activity not only helps every family member to lose weight and keep it in a healthy range, it's also good for our individual spirits and helps aid in family bonding.

This article explains why making exercise a family affair is a great idea and provides suggestions for you to begin exercising with your family.

Why family exercise is a great idea

Weight related problems are not confined to adults, and more and more children in Australia are becoming overweight or obese in part because they are not active enough.

Making exercise part of our family lifestyle is a great idea because it:

  • Helps make weight loss and weight control easier
  • Helps make exercise and weight loss motivation easier
  • Helps the family share more things in common
  • Encourages family members to spend more quality time together
  • Helps strengthen family relationships
  • Helps children develop healthy habits early in life
  • Helps children develop physical skills and self-confidence
  • Helps make weight loss success more likely for any or all family members
  • Helps keep the whole family happier and healthier

Getting started

The hardest part of making exercise a family affair is getting started.

Here are some ideas to help make getting started a lot easier:

  • Find out what your children or partner like to do and make this a focus of your family activities
  • When talking to children, use words like "fun" and "play" instead of "exercise"
  • Plan social outings that involve physical activity such as roller-skating
  • Make it a rule to leave the television off one day a week and exercise then
  • Don't make exercise a chore; keep it light and enjoyable
  • Vary the activities you do and let your children take turns at choosing what the family does
  • Use family walks or bike rides as a time to do more than just exercise together
  • Try to combine exercise with learning and exploring (for example, try walking around local parks, your nearest zoo or museum)
  • Try to be available as much as possible when your children want to play
  • Buy toys, games and accessories that promote physical activity, like balls, bikes and bike accessories, and skates
  • Try to keep children's minds active during exercise (by getting them to count things like fences, bikes, dogs or houses of certain colors while on walks for example)
  • Encourage your children to keep an activity diary and plan exciting new activities for the future
  • Set aside a specific time for family exercise, like early on Sunday morning for example

Family exercise options

The greatest thing about family exercise is the wide number of options available.

And it doesn't matter what the composition of our family is, whether it's just us and our partner, us and young children, us and older children, or us, our partner and children of any age.

For those of us with new-born children, family exercise may be just taking baby for a walk in their pram during the day and exploring all the sights and sounds of the neighbourhood.

For those of us with a brood, family exercise may be taking the children and their bikes along the beach or a couple of times around the local botanical gardens.

For those of us without children or with adult children, family exercise may just take the form of us taking romantic walks or bike rides along the beach or river with our partner at dusk or through the park on our way to our favourite picnic spot.

Regardless of the makeup of our family, here are some examples of the most common and best forms of family exercise:

  • Walking or jogging with a pram
  • Family bike riding or walk/bike rides
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Aerobics or gym workouts
  • Inline, ice or roller skating
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Martial arts (e.g., karate)
  • Hop-scotch
  • Skipping
  • Hide-and-seek
  • Miniature golf
  • Kite flying
  • Beach Frisbee
  • Kick to kick footy
  • Party activities like badminton or volleyball

Get creative

When planning your family exercise, don't just rely on the list above, get creative.

For example, why not buy each family member a pedometer and have a daily, weekly or monthly competition to see who can walk the most steps. Reward the winner for their efforts remembering not to use food as the reward.

Got a better idea? Give it a try; you've got nothing but weight to lose!


Most of us have heard the saying "The family that plays together stays together."

We believe this saying is true, but we also believe that the family that exercises together loses weight together and stays happier and healthier together as well.

Weight loss and exercise can be hard to maintain without help. Fortunately for many of us, help is close at hand and comes in the form of our family.

Making exercise a family activity not only helps improve every family member's physical health and well being, it's also good for our spirits and aids in family bonding.

This article explained why making exercise a family affair is a great idea and ways in which to do it.

Now that you know why it's a good idea and how to do it, what are you waiting for?

Good luck with your family exercise and thanks for visiting weightloss.com.au.

Copyright Ultimate Weightloss.

This article was written by Scott Haywood.

Scott is the editor of weightloss.com.au. Scott has developed an expertise in fitness and nutrition, and their roles in weight loss, which led him to launch weightloss.com.au in 2005. Today, weightloss.com.au provides weight loss and fitness information, including hundreds of healthy recipes, weight loss tools and tips, articles, and more, to millions of people around the world, helping them to lead happier, healthier, lives.

You can follow Scott on Google+ for more interesting articles.

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