Signing up for a gym membership might have seemed like a good idea after the excesses of Christmas and New Year but if, like many people, you’ve only managed to fit a couple of workouts each week (or less!) then you would be wise to think about cancelling your gym subscription. Instead of paying out $40 or more in gym fees each month, follow our tips, save money, and get fit with your kids for free.
Go For a Family Walk
If you are looking for a way to ease your family into exercising together, consider making a 30-minute walk part of your daily routine. Walking is something that the whole family can participate in, and obviously there is no special equipment to buy, so it’s a perfect way to get fit for free. You can add an extra element of interest to your walks by getting visiting one of our many National Parks and following marked trails – take along a guide to flora and fauna and educate yourself on your ramble! Even in the cities, you’ll find walking routes which pass historical points of interest and architecture – ask in your local tourist information center for more information specific to your area.
Walking is one of the best activities to try if you want to get fit for free, and it has been shown to have numerous health benefits including reducing stress levels, controlling the symptoms of diabetes and reducing the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. As an added bonus, the rhythm of walking seems to encourage conversation, which makes this an ideal choice if you feel that you need to spend more quality time together and connect with your kids.
Get Together with the Neighbors
Remember those long summer days, when you were a kid, and you’d get together with all the other youngsters in the neighborhood for a seemingly spontaneous game of rounders or basketball? Recreate that carefree atmosphere, and build bonds with your community, by getting outdoors and playing some good old fashioned games with friends and family.
It used to be kids that organised themselves to play games, but if you want to join in, you may have to be the one to get things moving. Make it your mission to set up teams with other parents and their kids, and play some light-hearted games (it’s usually the adults that get competitive, not the kids!). If you need kit for the sport of your choice try your local Freecycle page, or ask whether your kid’s school will let you use their equipment.
Build a Home Gym -By Recycling!
While your living room might not be quite as glamorous as an air-conditioned gym with mirrored walls, you can still use it as a space to get fit. Again, you can try Freecycle and perhaps someone in your area will have home fitness equipment that they’d like to give away – but if not, it’s time to get creative and recycle things you would otherwise have thrown away. Empty drinks bottles of varying sizes can be filled with water or sand to create hand-weights, make a mini basketball net by attaching the ring from a broken lampshade to the door frame – your imagination is your only limit!
Exercise That Goes The Extra Mile
Depending on the age of your kids – and how gullible they are – you could start a new trend in your home – high-energy cleaning. Put your kids favorite music on as loud as you can bear it…give them their instructions and tell them to put all their excess energy into sweeping, polishing and washing-up, dancing as they do it. You definitely won’t get away with this one if you don’t join in and watch out for your kids talking you into paying you for the chores or you might have been better going to the gym after all….
Getting fit with your kids can be very rewarding and how ever you choose to do it, you are guaranteed to have fun. Let us know whether you try any of our suggestions and how they work for you – is your house sparkling after a high-energy cleaning session? Or have you been getting to know your neighbors with some team-sports?