Guest post by Lisa
Setting aside space for personal fitness as a busy parent can be a difficult. Time crunched families also long for ways to build meaningful memories and spend time with one another. Why not incorporate both?
Cultivate an attitude of healthy living and teamwork in your family without buying the expensive gym membership. The options are endless, the cost free to minimal, but the memories are irreplaceable.
Hiking paths, walking trails, even city streets can be transformed into an adventure. Try out new places, talk about what you discover, create a scavenger hunt to complete along the charted route. Keep a marked map or a running record, of all the trails your family has traversed.
Visit a Track
Slip on sneakers and scout out your local track. Find a time when no teams are practicing or have an athletic event. Children enjoy trying out all the lanes, running down the long jump, and rolling through the center field grass. While kids burn off energy, parents can fit in steady laps or complete sprint intervals.
Pack up the family for a trip to the local pool. If your pool has a splash pad area, settle the kids in. One parent can supervise while the other takes twenty minutes to swim laps, then switch places. End your time together with some massive splashing.
Many local libraries have extensive exercise DVD collections. Be creative with your work-out equipment; children love to lift stuffed animals as weights or use a special blanket as an exercise mat. Kids interpretations are sure to create laughter.
Dig into Sports
Expose your children to many different sports. Compile a master list of all the sports your family wants to try and get moving. Changing things up is fun and helps your children discover the sports they enjoy most.
Ready to play? Run the bases at a local baseball diamond, give the tennis court a try, gang up on Dad to score a soccer goal. Even young family members can work through a Frisbee golf course.
Work with the Seasons
Take full advantage of the opportunities different times of the year present for fitness. Slip on rain boots and take a walk, jump through as many puddles as possible. Water balloon and squirt gun battles that include adults are sure to be a family favorite. Grab some hot cocoa and traverse a corn maze together. If snow comes to your area, bundle up and see how many times your family can climb the nearest sledding hill.
Stretch Imagination in Challenging Weather
When the weather prohibits outdoor activities bring the fun indoors. Take turns creating obstacle courses and completing them. Grab favorite stuffed animals and have them complete silly relay races. Strip all the beds of comforters and pillows, unpack the sleeping bags, and pile them into a heap. Bounce away, all the giggling will make up for the clean up afterward.
These are just a few of the frugal ways your family can stay fit… and create many memories in the process.
What are your best frugal family fun ideas?
Lisa is a freelance writer from Holland, Michigan. Her family seeks to live a life of giving, not excess. Lisa, her husband, and her two children (ages 7 and 4) have tried all these family fitness ideas. They have a lot of fun, laughter and general mishaps together. Adventure hiking is her children’s favorite activity.
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