Family Exercise

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to get in shape and exercise more. Sometimes we limit this just to ourselves, but with the growing obesity epidemic in children this is now something that parents start to consider for their children as well. The common response might be to put our children in classes, or get them to join a sports team, or just simply tell them that it’s up to them to find their own exercise schedule. For us, we often think we need to find time at a gym or take a yoga (or something else) class after work in order to reach this goal.

But what if we didn’t have to separate everyone? What if you could actually turn this New Year’s resolution into a new way for the family to work together?

Family exercise is one way in which you can reach this New Year’s resolution well also spending valuable time with your children. There are several ways that this can look and all of them have the added benefit of not only getting you in shape but also getting you to spend some quality time with those you love.  Here are four ideas for the family who wants to exercise together.

Take a family class

If you all happen to be interested in the same thing, taking a class together can be a fun way to get your exercise in. Even if you don’t happen to be interested in the same thing at the moment, you can also register for a class in order for everyone to learn something new together. This may actually be even more fun as you bond over something new and learn a new skill in the process.

Go for family walks

Walking is one of the best exercises you can do, no matter what your age, and one of the easiest. At a time when we end up driving everywhere it can be difficult to find time to walk enough steps each day to get the health benefits. Adding in a daily walk with the family is one great way to do this. Going walking after dinner can give you time as a family to get your exercise in while also catching up with one another and hearing what’s going on in your kids’ lives.

Go swimming

In most places in this country you can find a public pool relatively nearby. Swimming is one of those activities that kids seem to love and is great for adults to. If your kids are old enough, you can go do some laps will they swim around and play. If not, you can either get your exercise by playing around with them in the pool actively or by taking turns with another adult to watch them while the other adult does laps, then trade.

Go skating

What’s more Canadian than ice-skating? As with swimming, most places in this country have access to enough ice to skate, whether it’s indoors or outdoors. Going just once a week can give you a great workout and is immensely fun for the kids. An added bonus is that skating works muscles you generally don’t use in other areas of your life meaning you’ll feel the workout and know you’re building up strength while burning calories.


No matter what you do the goal should be to have fun and bond as a family. When exercise becomes fun for everyone, it is much easier for it to become a regular part of your life and a regular part of your children’s lives, not just in the moment, but going forward as well. Remember: The family that exercises together, stays together.

By Tracy Cassels

January 18, 2016