Playing catch at the end of the workday is great, but you're looking for more -- more activity, more family inclusiveness and more structure. You middle-aged knees are not up for soccer, either, much as you loved it as a kid. Ritual Sunday afternoon bike rides are a terrific way to stay active as a family and build the family bond, but they are not the only way for a family to be healthy and happy together. If you are looking for ways the family can be active and fit together, think outside the local kids' leagues for ways to stay active as a family and make fitness fun for all of you.
Look for lifetime sports that the family can do together and will be able to do together for decades to come. The intensity with which each member of the family participates will vary with age, but typically a person can enjoy a lifetime sport from childhood through retirement. As such, they are good candidate sports for a family. Tennis and golf are easy examples of lifetime sports, but also tai chi, cycling, hiking even or cross-country skiing.
You may also want to consider "non-traditional" sports and physical activities such as rock-climbing, surfing, kayaking, rollerblading, snowshoeing, ultimate Frisbee or a host of others. Doing something a little different than everyone in town may be just the spark the family needs to keep at it.
If a sport or activity means learning a new skill, do it together. Look to local recreation programs and businesses for instruction opportunities. You can learn as part of a larger group -- or it might be most cost-effective to have private instruction just for your family.
Lifetime, non-traditional or very traditional, look for family sports leagues or multi-aged groups in which to participate. Parent-child tennis and golf tournaments are common, but what about entering a surfing competition together or a triathlon?
And if you don't find exactly what you are looking for, start a league of your own. There must be other families in your area looking for similar opportunity to be active and fit together. You'll all have fun and perhaps make some great new friends.
Consider fitness activities as the focus of a family vacation. Many companies offer bike and paddle tours through beautiful areas of the country and world -- and doing it as a family makes it even more fun. If you don't want to every single day of your vacation or take advantage of package tours, you can still remain active on vacation by knowing your options and planning some activities in advance. Check out the travel section of the bookstore for active options at your vacation destination.
Looking for ways to be active and fit as a family not only make fitness more fun for the whole family, they are part of creating the family bond and traditions as well as promoting healthy lifestyle choices.
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