Have you ever tried to convince your parents to exercise with you, only to get shut down? Maybe they say they’re too tired after work or would rather relax on the couch. It’s frustrating when you want to stay active as a family but can’t get parental buy-in. But don’t throw in the workout towel just yet! Exercising with your parents is possible – and even fun – if you approach it the right way.
Spark Excitement with a Family Fitness Challenge
Want to get your parents pumped about working up a sweat with you? Issue a fun family fitness challenge! Make it a competition to see who can rack up the most exercise minutes in a week or month. Sweeten the deal by offering a prize like choosing a fun outing or restaurant if your parents accept the challenge.
To track progress, have everyone download a fitness app like Fitbit that monitors daily activity. At the end of each week, check in to see who’s in the lead. A bit of friendly competition will motivate even the most exercise-averse parents. Let the family fitness games begin!
How to Launch a Successful Family Fitness Challenge
- Set clear rules. Decide how long the competition will last and what constitutes exercise minutes. Only count intentional workouts, not general daily steps.
- Pick motivating prizes. Offer fun rewards like a trip to an amusement park or arcade to keep everyone eager to win.
- Use fitness trackers. Monitoring progress on a fitness app amplifies the excitement and accountability. Garmin, Apple Watch, and Fitbit are great options.
- Tally the minutes. At the end of each week, add up everyone’s exercise hours. Turn in into a fun math activity!
- Announce a winner. When the competition wraps up, tally the final scores. The person with the most minutes gets first pick of the prizes!
Bond with Active Outings Together
Want quality time with your parents while also staying fit? Plan active outings the whole family can enjoy together! Rather than defaulting to a movie or dinner out, get creative with healthy hobbies you can bond over. Not only will you get your bodies moving, but you’ll also build lasting memories. Talk about a win-win.
Fun Fitness Activities to Do Together
- Take a hike. Explore local trails and parks while giving your heart rate a boost. Bring snacks to re-fuel when you rest.
- Play mini golf. Turn putt-putt into a full-body workout by doing squats with the ball and lunges between holes.
- Go bowling. Challenge each other for strikes and spares. Carry your own ball to build arm muscles too.
- Visit a trampoline park. Release your inner child as you bounce, flip, and stick the landing.
- Swim at the pool. Race laps or play fun pool games like Marco Polo together.
- Try paddleboarding. Cruise the waters standing up while improving balance and core.
- Play tennis. Rally back and forth to spike your heart rate between serves.
- Do an obstacle course. Conquer physical challenges at an outdoor ropes course for serious family bonding.
The options for active adventures together are endless. Get creative and alternate who gets to pick the activity each time. Before you know it, fitness will become a fun family tradition.
Make Your Workouts Kid-Friendly
As the kid, you may crave more intense exercise than your parents can handle. The key is making workouts kid-friendly so you both benefit. Focus on bodyweight exercises, light weights, and games that get your heart pumping.
Kid-Approved Workouts Parents Love Too
- Follow kid workout videos on YouTube like GoNoodle to dance, jump, and hit fitness goals.
- Create an obstacle course in the yard using cones, hula hoops, and hurdles. Time each other racing through.
- Play classic backyard games like tag, hopscotch, or jump rope. The nostalgia will motivate parents to join.
- Use lightweight kid dumbbells for bicep curls and overhead presses. Let your parents use heavier weights.
- Take a fitness class together like parent-child yoga or family Zumba. The group setting builds accountability.
- Walk, jog, or bike local trails at a pace that suits everyone. Bring snacks for mini breaks.
- Try beginner calisthenics like squats, lunges, and planks. Scale the duration and intensity as needed.
As long as you’re patient and meet your parents’ needs, you can absolutely torch calories together. Just be creative and keep things fun!
Discover Exercises Your Parents Love
Maybe traditional gym workouts aren’t your parents’ jam. Luckily, there are tons of fun fitness formats to choose from. Observe what gets your mom and dad excited, then suggest those specific activities when you want to work out together. Customizing exercise to their interests is the key to success.
Parent-Pleaser Workout Ideas
For musical parents:
- Zumba or dance-inspired workouts
- Jazzercise classes
- Aerobics videos with great soundtracks
For artistic parents:
- Yoga sculpting with poses inspired by nature
- Shadowboxing to music
- Dance cardio in front of the TV
For parenting multitaskers:
- Stroller jogs with the baby
- Active playground time with kids
- Backyard cleaning and gardening
For competitive parents:
- Tennis matches
- One-on-one basketball
- Video game workouts like Nintendo Switch Sports
For nature-loving parents:
- Hiking scenic trails
- Kayaking or stand up paddleboarding
- Outdoor yoga followed by a picnic
When you match the workout style to your parents’ interests, fitness feels like fun instead of a chore. Soon they’ll be the ones inviting you to work out together!
Turn Household Chores into a Workout
Don’t underestimate the power of household chores for raising heart rates. Mundane cleaning tasks actually burn a ton of calories. Convince your parents to add physical challenges to make chores more effective exercise.
Choreography Ideas for Active Chores
- Wash cars by hand: Scrub in circular motions to target arm muscles.
- Vacuum vigorously: Maintain constant movement around each room.
- Mow lawn with push mower: Alternate between forward and backward.
- Scrub bathroom on hands and knees: Hold plank position between scrubbing.
- Sweep patio vigorously: Lunge to reach corners instead of bending over.
- Mop in a squat position: Lower into a deep squat as you mop then stand to wring.
- Clean mirrors with squats: Lower into a squat as you clean then stand back up.
- Take laundry up and down stairs: Hold the basket straight out in front of you to activate your core.
- Bag up yard debris: Lunge down to pick up each branch, leaf, etc.
Chores may not sound exciting, but they’re a sneaky way to increase daily physical activity that parents already have to do anyway. Make it a family affair!
Guide Parents Through Their First Workout
Have dreams of hitting the gym with your mom and dad but they’re total newbies? Take on the role of mini personal trainer to gently guide them through their first workout. Make sure they feel confident and capable every step of the way. With your expert coaching and modifications, they’ll be hooked after the first session!
Tips for Coaching Parents’ First Workout
- Start with a warmup like slow jogging or mini jumps to raise the heart rate. Go at their pace!
- Demonstrate each new exercise with light weights yourself first. Explain which muscles it targets.
- Modify tricky moves by removing weights or limiting range of motion. Safety first!
- Remind them to breathe deeply in and out with each rep. Proper breathing is crucial.
- Offer places to hold for support like a wall or chair. Falling would be discouraging.
- Give specific positive feedback like “Your form is looking great!” Confidence is key.
- Check in frequently to ask if they need to rest, stretch, or hydrate. Listen to their body.
- End each session with a cooldown walk plus gentle stretches for major muscle groups.
- Celebrate completing their first workout! Now they know they can do it.
Parents need extra TLC when they’re fitness rookies. With your expertise and encouragement, they’ll look forward to hitting the gym as a family.
Make It a Habit with Consistent Family Workouts
Want to get both you and your parents hooked on regular exercise? Make family workouts a habit by scheduling them at the same time each week. Consistency is crucial – it’s far easier to maintain a set routine than workout sporadically. Before you know it, sweating it out together will feel totally normal.
Tips for Sticking to a Family Fitness Routine
- Set a designated workout time that works for everyone’s schedule. Even 15-30 minutes 2-3x a week can be hugely beneficial.
- Take turns picking the activity each time to keep things fun and varied.
- Make gradual progress to avoid burnout. Increase duration and intensity bit by bit.
- Prep workout clothes/shoes ahead of time so you can dive right in when it’s go time. Being ready is key!
- Follow each session with a healthy snack you can look forward to. Routine = results.
- Track progress together in a shared fitness journal to stay motivated.
- Remind each other of your shared goal – it cements the importance of consistency.
- Celebrate little wins along the way! Even one month of regular exercise together is progress.
Transforming any new habit into a ritual you stick to long-term takes patience. But with the right mindset and strategy, you’ll be on your way to a lifetime of healthy, happy workouts as a family.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much exercise do kids need daily or weekly?
The CDC recommends kids get 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. Ideally, this includes aerobic exercise, muscle and bone strengthening, and activities to build flexibility and balance.
What types of exercise strengthen muscles and bones?
Weight lifting, climbing, yoga, and bodyweight exercises like pushups build muscle and bone. Impact from running or jumping promotes strong bones too. Variety is key!
How can I convince my inactive parents to workout?
Make it fun by challenging them to a friendly fitness competition or planning active outings together. Start slowly, be patient, and modify tough exercises to set them up for success. Consistency is key to forming a new habit.
What exercises can overweight, older, or disabled parents do?
Walking, water aerobics, chair yoga, and arm exercises with light weights are low-impact options. Invest in supportive shoes, non-slip mats, and any mobility aids needed for safety. Focus on feeling great vs. burning maximum calories.
How do I respectfully help my parents with exercise form?
First demonstrate the move yourself with perfect form. Then say something like, “Mom, want me to watch your form real quick to make sure you’re protecting your back?” Guide their movements gently and offer tactical corrections. They’ll appreciate you looking out for their body!
Excited to break a sweat with your parents? With the right attitude and strategy, you can absolutely turn family fitness into a rewarding, sustainable habit. Experiment until you find activities you genuinely enjoy together. Before you know it, being active will be a cherished part of your family bond and daily routine. Now grab your sneakers, get moving, and start building those lifelong fitness memories today!