3 Healthy activities that can be enjoyed by all the family

If your busy family life makes it difficult to stay healthy, why not consider doing some fun activities that all the family can take part in? They'll benefit from the health improvements that extra movement can bring plus you'll all get a boost to your mental wellbeing...

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It can be a struggle to find time to look after your own physical health when you have a busy family life, let alone encourage your children to be more active too. Even though youngsters have PE lessons at school and often join after-school sports clubs, they’re still sitting down for the majority of the day when they’re in class, and often just flop on the sofa or in front of the laptop in the evenings.

You too might find that you’re usually sat at a desk and rarely get the chance to be active within your job and the hours outside of work are filled with the daily tasks of family life, leaving you little-to-no time to take care of yourself, physically or mentally.

So, what if you could all do an activity together – especially during the evenings, weekends and the school holidays – that would allow all the family to benefit from some healthy movement and spend some quality time together? Sounds like a good plan, doesn’t it?

1. Walking

Going for a walk is the easiest way to incorporate extra movement into your family life. You don’t need any equipment and you can do it anywhere – the park, the seaside or just around the streets of your local area. Walking is technically a weight-bearing aerobic activity as you’re carrying your own weight but, if you walk briskly, it provides even more benefits to your heart, lungs and muscles.

It’s not only an activity that’s beneficial for your health, it also gets you out of the house into the daylight, which will help with your family’s circadian rhythm, helping them all to sleep more soundly at night. The added bonus is that, while you’re out of the house and away from screens, you’ll be able to spend quality time with your children, chatting while you walk.

You can also mindfully notice new sights on your daily walk, such as the changing seasons or wildlife. Just pull on your trainers or walking boots and head outside to get some fresh air. All of these things make walking great for the mental health of your family as well as their physical health.

2. Tennis

If you want to take up a sport together as a family, I’ve found that tennis is a great option for all ages. From children and teens to parents and grandparents, members of my own family have enjoyed playing tennis together and individually.

That’s the good thing about tennis – once you’ve learned how to play, you can have a knock-up with anyone, no matter what their age or skill level, so there’ll always be someone you can call upon for a game. Plus the competitive nature of the game makes it a little more exciting for kids to get involved with. After all, how cool would it be to beat their parents at a game?

It’s not only a cardio-vascular workout for your body, but it also stimulates your mind; you can take your shots strategically and use your intuition to predict where the returned ball will land next. It can help with hand-eye coordination and balance, plus all that stretching to return hard-to-reach balls helps with flexibility too.

Tennis makes a fun weekend activity where you can gather together as a family, or there are weekly club nights at local tennis clubs where you can play individually. Most towns and some villages will have local tennis courts where you can pay-per-play whenever you fancy going for a game. All you need are adult and children’s tennis rackets for each member of the family and some trainers and you’re ready to get active.

3. Swimming

We all love going for a dip when we’re on holiday but often we don’t go swimming on a regular basis. However, most kids love swimming and would be willing to spend hours in the pool. Just imagine all that movement – they’re exercising and they don’t even realise it. Perfect for entertaining the kids during the school holidays and on weekends – they just need to be accompanied by adults and be able to swim!

Swimming provides a full-body workout because you’re using all your muscles and will be working out your heart and lungs while you swim. And it’s good for coordination because you’re moving all your limbs in synchronisation to propel you along.

It’s an activity that anyone can take part in, even if physical limitations sometimes prevent you from doing other sports. That’s because the water supports your body for a near-weightlessness feeling, allowing you to move freely despite any injuries or conditions. This makes it an ideal activity for all your relatives to join in with.

Plus, it’s a life skill. When we learn to swim as children, it’s something we’ll always be able to do. And, on the flip side, I think it’s harder to learn as an adult, which I tried to do myself about twelve years ago and found difficult – I still wouldn’t say I’m a great swimmer, but at least I will have a go. So, I think it’s a good idea for kids to take swimming lessons when they’re young so that they’ll always be able to swim – and therefore, to exercise – throughout their lives.

I hope that this has given you some ideas for ways to get active with your whole family and boost your physical and mental wellbeing at the same time. Let me know what sports and exercise you like to do with your children or parents in the comments below.

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This article is a sponsored collaboration. The pink links in the content indicate a sponsored link or information source. The blog post reflects my own experience and the sponsor hasn’t had any control over my content 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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