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You’ve been gifted with a love for fitness. You’re dedicated and look forward to your daily sweat sesh, whether it’s a trip to the gym or an at-home workout. But what happens when your family members aren’t as crazy about it as you are, even though you’re leading by example and reaping all the benefits that exercise and proper nutrition have to offer?
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get your family to be more active, even if that means they aren’t necessarily hitting the gym. Here are some simple tips to get the whole crew moving and work on getting stronger together.
1. Let the kids take charge of a family workout.
If you have kids, allowing them to run your workout will have your family burning calories while having fun and allowing them to be creative. Joy Kushner, a mom and personal trainer, lets her kids design their family workouts by letting them choose 10 moves for their exercise session. From push-ups to jumping jacks, your whole family will be sweating and making memories together.
Being an active person means your family members most likely see you working out regardless of whether they’re involved. Asking them to pick your next workout moves will help them feel included and important, and it will also give them more motivation to get active themselves.
2. Ask your family to try one of your workouts.
This may seem like an easy way to get a hard “no” from your family, especially if they aren’t active to begin with, but letting them know you want to include them in one of your favorite training days will help them feel important and may even inspire them to try.
With a no-pressure attitude and a beginner workout, of course, ask your family members for just 10 to 20 minutes of their day to sweat it out with you. At the end, let them know your workout was better when they were doing it with you. Positive encouragement and the rush of endorphins may just prove to be contagious.
3. Sign up for a 5K with your family.
You don’t have to be a track star to enter a 5K, and you may even get a fancy medal at the end. Elizabeth Aguilera, personal trainer and marketing director of Bailey’s Gym, recommends setting a goal for your family, such as entering a local race together. Even if you all simply walk the race trail together, you’re being active as a family while accomplishing a goal.
Upping the camaraderie with team T-shirts and sharing a healthy lunch after the race — maybe even an outdoor picnic — are more ways to make this fitness outing memorable and motivating.
4. Schedule favorite activity days.
The best way to get your family members more active is by letting them pick their favorite activity that involves moving their bodies. When you like the activity you are doing, the higher the chances are that you’ll stick to it. This could be anything from playing tag or Frisbee to getting active on the Nintendo Wii or biking. They may just want to turn up the music and dance! Doing this may even get you moving in ways you haven’t in a while as you do what your family loves.
5. Plan outdoor exercise outings.
Fresh air and fitness go hand in hand. This can be a day or weekend of fun activities such as hiking, skiing, paddleboarding, swimming, playing sports or canoeing. The list is endless when it comes to having fun under the sun.
Setting goals within your family’s outdoor activities can take it up a notch. Planning a hike? See how fast you and your crew can safely reach the summit — and don’t forget the family photo from the top! Paddleboarding this coming weekend? Try to hold a steady plank on the board and see how long you and your family can hold it. The more challenges, the better.
6. Create a daily challenge.
Competitions are a great way to get everyone moving and tapping into their competitive side. From tracking how many steps you all take in a single day to seeing who can do the most bodyweight squats, setting a new challenge each day — and maybe even letting each family member choose one challenge per week — will get everybody moving together while encouraging healthy competition. And, of course, with winning comes a prize. Letting your loved ones pick a healthy dinner that they want or some other treat will help them feel important while creating a new, healthy lifestyle habit.
7. Check your gym for free family member passes.
Some gyms offer memberships with unlimited family or guest passes, making it possible to work out with your family members for free. Other gyms offer family guest passes on certain days or allow for a family discount.
While lifting weights might not be in your family’s wheelhouse, there are plenty of other fun activities to do at many gyms such as classes and swimming pools. Allowing your family members a free trip to the gym to do what they choose to do can set them up for a lifelong relationship with a new love of fitness.
Getting your family to become more active may seem like a huge task, but with a little creativity and team effort, you and your family will be working out together in no time!