No Sweat: 6 tips for being active and sporty as a family
Many years ago, before I had children I spent most of my lunchtimes in the gym, my husband and I skied regularly and I would also run on the weekends. Since having children I haven’t quite managed to get back into my previously active lifestyle. I’m so busy driving the children to their sporting activities that I don’t have much time to exercise myself.
The only way I can keep active myself is to build sporty activities into our family life so we can all exercise at the same time, even if it's only once a week.
These are my favourite ways to be an active family together:
This year we bought a small tennis net for the garden which has kept the children (and me) busy for hours on end. We set up mini-tournaments so everyone gets to play and a little bit of competitiveness seems to keep everyone interested. It’s been great for family bonding as well as leading to a few arguments.
If you don’t have a garden that can accommodate a tennis net, local courts can often be hired cheaply or even just banging a ball against a wall together can be very satisfying and great for hand-eye coordination skills.
Go for a run
I love to run alone as it helps me clear my head and have a little bit of “me time” but I’ve also found running to be a great activity to do with the kids. My littlest will cycle at the side of me, while the older two race in front and have to wait for us to catch up. Running is especially good as even just a quick 20 minutes is great exercise and it’s free!
The children completed a Mini Mudder race last year and inspired by that we’ve just started looking into local park runs to try too.
A game of rounders
Another great investment has been a rounders set, which we take to a nearby field to play on. It’s been brilliant when we have friends round and usually inspires all the grown ups to get involved as well.
Learn a new skill
My 10-year-old likes to sail on a local lake, so on our last holiday, I took a beginners' sailing course so I could join him and we could spend time together. Unfortunately, I found that sailing isn’t something that comes naturally to me, but luckily we do both like to kayak and paddle board, both fantastic activities for spending time together. If you’re not a fan of watersports how about Judo, Karate or climbing?
We’ve also been skiing as a family, which is another great way to have an active break together. The kids soon found themselves whizzing past me and I’m sure in a few years will be leaving me behind to brave black runs while I have a coffee and take an easier route!
Go for a walk
When we haven’t got time to do a more organised activity or just want a quiet day at home we always try to fit in a walk, even if it's just a trip to a nearby park.
All my children love to cycle, especially if we take them somewhere with hills. We combine the afternoon’s activity with a picnic or ice cream to make it extra special. If we haven’t got time for a full day out, a quick bike ride close to where we live is another great way to get everyone outside and active even if it’s not for long.