I’ve been invited to present Family Fitness at the upcoming Indy Family Fest taking place in Indianapolis, IN on October 19th. In preparation for that 30-minute presentation, I’m planning and running “Family Fit Clubs” with my kids and their friends this summer! My goal is to make fitness fun and interspersed in daily activities, almost like they don’t even know they’re doing it! Additionally, I aim to keep it affordable and generally applicable so any adult can facilitate it with their crew as well. Stay tuned to this Family Fit Club series as I share out our ideas and activities for you to consider doing with your family sometime!
Family Fit Club #1, June 4
Activity: Walk thru the woods on the 1/2-mile trail to the neighborhood park
Goal: Each kid chooses one item to look for in the woods and when we find it, we do a fitness activity for 10-20 seconds as a group
Materials-safe path, walking shoes, water bottles, active clothes, sunscreen
On this trip, the kids chose to look for rocks, bugs, leaves and sticks, but the sky’s the limit on what each chooses. Giving them a choice also keeps them engaged at a certain level and helps each of them to be on the hunt for their item at all times!
When we found the kids’ items along the way, we stopped as a group and did 20 seconds of high knees for heart health and core work, single leg bends for balance, static (not moving) body weight planks for strength and core work, interval sprints in the open area for speed and endurance, chin ups at the park for strength and stretching for flexibility.
The crew gathered on the porch of our home, ready to hear the Fit Club instructions! This was our first one and it did not go as perfectly as planned. My kids don’t always want to do what Mom has planned, so I really had to get them to buy into this idea. As we continue to do our weekly clubs and get into more of a rhythm with it, they’ll be wanting to do it daily….you just watch!
We made our way into the woods on an established path that we had explored before.
Once we found our first item, a stick, it was then time for our first event, high knees. Mom was so busy giving them instructions, I failed to get a picture! For high knees, we wanted to get the heart rate up for 20 seconds, so we stayed in place, lowered our hands to waist level and raised the knees up quickly making contact with our hands. It was a nice intro to the activity.
The next find was a rock, so it was then time for our next activity, balance! I had them stand on one leg and lean forward to work on their balancing skills. Once they mastered that, I had them switch legs, this time bending the knee and seeing how low they can go while keeping their balance while still on one leg. It’s fun to add in different levels of intensity so they can be challenged along the way.
Next find was a bug. So then we went down for planks, focusing on keeping the back flat, body static (still) and core engaged. Not all of my kids wanted to do this and the novelty of the activity was starting to wear off. That’s ok, it won’t always go as planned, but the goal is to just keep them engaged and moving and make it fun….never like work (or so they think!)
Next find was a leaf, so we broke out the interval sprints. We came upon a nice, flat open area, so I had them run and walk a few laps. They love to run, so off they went!
We made our way to the park at the end of the trail and finished up with a more exercises, before the crew took off to play. Here we used the bars to break out a few chin ups for strength. Not everyone can do this, so even just hanging from the bar is good practice and also good for flexibility. The point is just getting them to TRY it and keep trying it!
We used the park equipment to get in a nice post-workout stretch! Stretching is very important after the body is warmed up and a great way to cool down.
and when you’re finished, you get to take your trail walk finds with you!
Stay tuned for upcoming Family Fit Club ideas!
Have an idea to submit?