Fitness Articles

Outdoor Adventures Fit for Families

Get Out & Get Active as a Family

Have you thought about how great it would be to include your family in your pursuit to exercise more regularly? Family exercise will improve the health of your loved ones, make exercise more fun, and at the same time develop stronger connections between all of you. With a little creativity, you can find a way to make it work for everyone.

Here are a few outdoor ideas to get your family focused on fitness:

Get out in the yard. Sunshine, fresh air, soft breezes, and the smells of nature—what could be better? Still, many people rank outside yard work right up there with filing tax returns. Hundreds of gas and electric yard tools were invented so you could stay inactive and indoors more often. People are putting a lot of effort into these products so you don’t have to use any effort at all.

Self-powered yard work can be an incredible source of fun, relaxing exercise. It might be a time-saver too, if you can use it to offset some gym time. The whole family can get involved during various seasons. Younger children can help weed, plant, water, and rake. Older children can help with carrying, mulching, shoveling, and mowing. What a great reward for the whole family! When the "work" out is over, sit back and enjoy our lush, freshly landscaped yard. To learn more about yard workouts, read Work Out with Yard Work.

Take an active family vacation. Instead of spending time lounging on the beach or riding in a tour bus, plan a vacation that's full of fun, outdoor activity. Try to incorporate some of these ideas into your next trip, so that your family does at least one activity each day:
  • Go swimming or play at a water park.
  • Hike a trail in a national park.
  • Take walking tours of historical landmarks.
  • Go whitewater rafting, kayaking, or canoeing with a guide.
  • Take a ski trip.
  • Go on a bicycle tour.
  • Paddle boat at a resort of theme park.
  • Try climbing, snorkeling, or scuba diving.
The possibilities for fun family activities are endless while you're on vacation! Read Active Vacation Ideas for additional ideas.

Visit your local park. Ever wonder why it's called the Department of Parks and Recreation? It provides places for people to have fun outdoors. You can’t help but be active and play while in a place of recreation, and the great outdoors is full of these opportunities. The more you mix up your activities, the more fun you’re going to have while getting fit. These outdoor activity options have something for the whole family:
  • Hiking, walking, jogging, backpacking, walking the dog, climbing
  • Swimming, canoeing, waterskiing, rafting
  • Biking, mountain biking, rollerblading
  • Skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snow tubing
People spend thousands of dollars and several days traveling to do some of these same activities. You could be doing them everyday for free or next to nothing. Sharing these activities with your family multiplies the fun and can actually boost your results!
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About The Author

Nicole Nichols Nicole Nichols
A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, Nicole loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Nicole was formerly SparkPeople's fitness expert and editor-in-chief, known on the site as "Coach Nicole." Make sure to explore more of her articles and blog posts.

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