09 Jan Family Fun and Fitness Indoors
An active family is a healthy family, but sometimes the weather makes it hard to get outside. Don’t let cold or indoor distractions keep you from exercise. There are lots of fun and easy ways for the family to stay fit together! Check out these family fitness ideas great for indoor weather:
Yoga is not only good for the body, it’s great for the mind as well! Yoga can be done virtually anywhere with little or no equipment. Gentle yoga stretches are a great way to start the day, reenergize, or warm up for another activity.
The foundation of good yoga is moving in sync with the breath. Playing the sound of the ocean tide in the background can help calm the mind and provide a rhythm to sync the breath to. A good beginners pose for kids and adults is the sunrise/sunset stretch.
First, stand up tall. Begin to breathe with intentional rhythm in and out until your inhalations and exhalations are even. Breathe deeply through the nose. On an inhale, lift your arms up alongside your ears until both arms are straight. To visualize this pose, think of yourself as tree trunk standing straight and tall. Press your legs and feet down like roots holding a tree in place. Stretch your spine and waist upward, toward the sky. Keep your arms straight, but don’t strain.
As you exhale, slowly bend from the waist. Your arms should remain straight in the same place along your ears. Pay close attention that you are bending from the waist, putting no tension in your arms or back. If you can, touch your toes, but do not bend further than you can comfortably manage. If there is tension in your legs, bend your knees a bit. On your next inhalation, slowly come back up lifting your arms toward the sky as you do. Repeat this 10 times, moving slowly up and down, breathing in and out, rising and falling like sunrise and sunset.
There are lots of enjoyable, accessible sports the family can play indoors together. Many gyms and local recreation centers offer indoor basketball, volleyball, soccer, swimming, track, and tennis. Turn family fitness into family game night. Play your family’s favorite or switch up from week to week.
Wondering how to fit family fitness into your busy schedule? Try incorporating exercise games into activities that are usually stationary such as reading and watching television. If you are reading a book with your child, have her watch or listen for a certain word or words. Assign an action to that word. For example, every time you read “cat” in The Cat in the Hat, have your child hop up or jump in place. Each time she hears the word “hat” she can spin around or run in place.
Make use of commercials during TV time to have everyone hop up and do a few jumping jacks, pushups, run in place, do a dance- anything that gets them up and moving! Change activities from break to break to keep things fun and interesting.