There are SO many ways to be active together as a family. I created the “Family Fit Club” concept and presented on this topic at the inaugural Indy Family Fest in Indianapolis on October 19, 2013. In planning for this event, I had the focus of giving people ideas on ways to be active together on cold, rainy days or in the winter months when we are less likely to get outside! This is a “No Gym Required” list of ideas that you can do in your garage, basement or family room simply using common household items. The expectation is that you commit to think outside the box, get creative, and be willing to have fun. Set a date, invite the family and go be active together!
How to do the workouts? I would suggest you aim for 3 sets of 10-15 reps of any given station/exercise listed below. You can choose to create a circuit of back-to-back exercises or complete a station by the above sets at a time. Either way, a 5-minute warm up of your muscles before working out and a stretch post workout is always a good idea. For any activity you do, check with your health care provider first and use safety and common sense.
My presentation below, introducing “Family Fit Clubs”
Introductory slide above
The slide above tells a brief background of my story. I brought my 4th kiddo home on my 35th birthday in 2009. I had a big responsibility of 4 kids ages 6 and under and knew I had no option but to fine tune myself inside and out to pull off that role. In order to do so, I made a motto of “Take care of you so you can take care of others” and I pledged to “Go get me back”, both giving me permission to make myself a priority in my life! In that 4 years I crossed paths with many amazing programs and people that breathed encouragement and motivation into my path. I wanted to do the same and in turn created ways to give back to my community through my creation of the Fit Gal Club and Indy Family Resource. Those opportunities enabled me to combine my efforts and create “Family Fit Clubs” for ways to be active together!
These ideas are SO easy to make and use! I love it because everyone can contribute their favorite idea and it’s a fun and simple way to keep the fit clubs fun and interesting! On stage my Fit Bunch (comprised of a teenage son and Mom duo, a toddler daughter and Mom duo, a family of 4 with Mom, Dad, 4 & 1 year olds and my 5-year-old daughter!) demonstrated balloon volleyball as an example of a simple fit club idea easily done indoors.
I tested the audiences’ knowledge of fit tips on the body. Those that attempted to answer won a prize from me!
Answers: 640 muscles, the heart, 70,000 miles, 64%
The Fit Bunch divided into groups and tackled the stations as I described each option. The focus was to use common household items for use of being active together. We raided the pantry, cupboard and garage to see what we had in store!
Noodle sit ups!
Farmer’s Walk carrying buckets filled with cans or books, walking around pots and pans
Mountain climbers on paper plates
Box pushes on carpet, great for upper body strength. You can also use towels or plastic bags on hard surface floors. Make it fun and go around cups to create a course.
More Fit Tips to test the audience!
Answers: get good sleep, limit screen time, drink water, 5 fruits & vegetables, 1 hour of physical activity, zero sugar
I couldn’t quite possibly demo ALL the Family Fit Club ideas I had, so I have been collecting them along the way since the summer! I’ve accumulated those ideas on this link HERE! Make sure to check them all out!
In addition to all my Family Fit Club ideas, I’ve got tons more info online, whether it’s for families in Indianapolis or guys and gals looking for motivation and tips to keep them keeping on! Please stay connected with me!
Being active together truly is “No Gym Required”! My family and I got a great workout in at the park on vacation because we didn’t have access to a gym. Use some of the household items as mentioned in the stations’ slide above or use the weight of the kids and give yourself a challenge. Instead of the use of a chair, it can also be your front step, a raised hearth on a fire place, your stairs, a bed, a couch or park bench! Your body weight is truly all the resistance you need to challenge those 640 muscles you have!
Often times the television is on in our homes, even more so in the cold weather months. Use the commercial breaks during your show to pick any of the exercises above to time and challenge yourselves for completion of an activity. For even more fun, as the kids complete a task each break, create parts of a smiley face on their hands to complete it after they finish the activity tasks (an eye after one break, another eye after the second break’s activity, then eventually a nose and a mouth)
Body weight exercises using my 5-year-old daughter as weight to do a dead lift!
Greg in the back of me is doing sit ups with his 1-year-old son on his shoulders!
Doing a squat with my daughter on my back for extra weight (and trying to talk through a microphone at the same time!)
As the ending line says, you really are never too old or too young to start. Even if the kids are resistant, keep modeling the activities and inviting them alongside you. Before long they’ll want to join you as well. If kiddos on the younger side can’t perform the exercise or keep the focus, just engage with them as you plug along. It’s the modeling that is truly the impact!
For those of you without young kids or anyone at any age looking to get started, it just takes a will and a plan. You can modify any of these activities to your ability level and focus on keeping yourself challenged along the way. Of course none of these options offers an easy button or quick results. When coupled with patience, consistency and a balanced diet, you will see positive changes in your physique!
For more ideas on how to incorporate plyometrics or stroller moves, see the idea lists below.
Questions, comments, or concerns, I’d love to hear from you!
These are great ideas for plyometrics activities to use in your Family Fit Deck Cards:
4 on the floor
High knee steps
Spades (tricep push ups, knees down)
Tug of war
Beach ball toss sit up
Flamingo (bounce on one leg)
Cross country skiers
Mt. climber (we used paper plates in our demo!)
Bear crawl push ups
Hit the deck
Run in place
Crab walks, tricep dips
These are great ideas for working out alongside a stroller, with little ones in tow:
High knee march
Triceps (stroller braced)
Squat and side leg lift
Squat hold kiss