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8 Ways for the Whole Family to Get Active Together

The family that plays together, stays together!

Working out as a family is a great way to keep everyone in good shape. Family workouts can be a fun, bonding experience, a chance for everyone from the youngest to the oldest to stretch their bodies, work their muscles, and get their hearts beating. Here are a few exercises the whole family can do together:

  • Yoga – Yoga is excellent for people of all ages. The more active members of your family may prefer Power, Bikram, or Ashtanga Yoga, while the older members might prefer Iyengar or Restorative Yoga. Have a family Yoga session and give everyone a chance to loosen up, strengthen their muscles, and enjoy the meditative techniques. Stronger bodies and healthier minds for all!
  • Martial arts – Martial arts can be fun for the kids, excellent exercise for the adults, and can benefit the grandparents as well. Kids need a way to let out their energy and aggression, and martial arts provides a productive way to do that. Adults can use a bit more cardiovascular work and flexibility training. Older adults can improve their balance, coordination, and mobility. Though each group will move at their own speed, taking martial arts as a family is a great way to learn something new together.
  • Resistance training – Resistance training is beneficial to people of all ages! Children and older adults will need to focus more on endurance and functional strength than raw power, but everyone can benefit from the bone, joint, and muscle-strengthening effects of weightlifting. Best of all, you can all work at your own pace and intensity.
  • Walking – In this case, we're not talking about a leisurely stroll in the park! No, we're talking about speed walking, hiking, or long-distance trekking. Basically, any type of walking that gets your heart pumping and your legs working. Everyone can walk — all that will change is the speed and distance, according to the ages of your walk companions.
  • Cycling – Family bike rides can be a blast! You can go as slow or fast as you want, and hit the city streets, park, or even mountain and forest trails. It doesn't matter how fit everyone is, what matters is that you are cycling together.
  • Rowing – Rowing is one of the best forms of whole-body cardiovascular and resistance exercise. Get a boat for the whole family and give everyone a turn rowing. You'll find your muscles burning, your heart thumping, and your lungs burning. Plus, it's a great way to spend a day out on the lake, river, or ocean enjoying your favorite water sports.
  • Swimming – Swimming is another form of exercise that everyone can engage in. It's easy on stiff or arthritic joints, so the grandparents can go for a swim alongside the kids and younger adults. Recreational swimming is more enjoyable for the whole family than distance or speed swimming. Just make sure everyone is in the water for an hour or so, and you'll all get a great workout.

Yes, everyone in the family will have a different fitness level, but don't let that stop you from working out together! All that matters is that you are making a point to exercise as a family. Any exercise is better than sitting indoors and doing nothing.

[Image via Getty]

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