Quality Family Time

Monday, January 23, 2017

Family Exercise

Our family enjoys spending time together doing active things.  We have had a lot of enjoyment together. These activities have helped us grow closer together.

Hiking has to be one of our very favorite activities! We are blessed to live near mountains and have numerous hiking opportunities. Fresh mountain air always lifts and cheers our family. When the kids were little we had a child backpack that we would use. The kids loved being in the backpacks and would usually fall asleep before we were done hiking. Usually by 3 they were able to walk a few miles with us, or get a piggy back.  These were slow hikes because the kids were so distracted by rocks, sticks and anything else they could find on the ground. Now that the kids are older, they are able to hike longer distances. We have been able to see and experience so many beautiful places together. Our family has really learned to appreciate nature and have become super spotters of wildlife. And it's great exercise!  Our vacations usually involve lots of hiking and we love to explore new states and experiences.

In the winter we do winter hiking-snowshoeing! It is a lot of fun and great exercise.  If you haven't tried it you should test it out sometime. It is a fabulous family activity. When you are tired of the smog and dreariness of the winter-it is so awesome to go up to the mountains and breath in the fresh clean air! We got the kids their own set of snowshoes for Christmas a few years ago.  It has been well worth it! You can also rent them at most sporting good stores. We haven't hiked very far yet-because my kids get so distracted by all the snow and falling into it and knocking each other down into the snow.  Sometimes we bring sleds and find a hill on our hike. Last time we went, I really enjoyed hearing them laughing and enjoying each other's company. They also enjoyed all of the animal tracks we found in the snow as well.  They are building great memories and relationships that they will always have together.  One of our favorite memories is snowshoeing in Bryce Canyon National Park. It is so beautiful in the winter!

Family bike rides are another fun form of exercise. When the kids were little, we found a bike for me at a garage sale for $5 and a bike trailer for the kids for $30. We went on lots of short rides around the neighborhood.  The kids loved sitting in the little bike trailer and going over bumps. My friend has a little chair that sits on the back of her bike so her littlest can ride with her.  Either way works for giving the little ones a ride. Eventually, my kids outgrew our trailer and we had to move them to small bikes. That's the hardest part because they go really slow on training wheels, but I'm glad we went out then because the kids got used to being out on bike rides. Now it's great because none of us are on training wheels! Our rides are a lot longer and very interesting. Our bikes are old and cheap but they still work great on the roads and have given us several years of fun and laughter.

Family Walks have also become a great family bonding time. My kids loved walks when they could ride in a stroller-now they prefer riding their bikes, but we are trying new things to make it more enjoyable for our family.  I remember hearing Gene R Cook talk about his family walks.  His kids loved them because he would make up stories along the walk.  I always wanted to try that with my family. When the kids were little we would take short walks to different parks in the neighborhood.  Then we would let them play for a minute then walk to the next park.  They were more motivated by being able to play at the park. We start doing family walks as soon as the weather is warm/dry enough to go outside. We tell the kids we are getting ready for hiking season. Sometimes we let them ride their scooters while we walk.  They also enjoy bringing the football and passing it around during our walk-but that does slow us down a bit.  Maybe when their aim gets better we can walk a little faster! They haven't thrown it over any fences yet-so we are doing pretty well. Once we get them out walking, we usually have a lot of great talks and have made many great memories. Sometimes, my husband and I have gone on walks after the kids were in bed.  I really enjoy those times as well. It is really great as your kids get older!

We have been trying to get our kids to workout more on their own.  Exercise is really important for their overall health so we try to encourage them to get more of it. Sometimes I can get one of them to workout with me in the mornings. We've showed them how to use the treadmill and exercise bike. They seem to do better in the Summer when they can set up a routine and have a little more free time.
My husband is really good to invite some of the kids in the neighborhood to play soccer and softball games with us in the open space by our house. There are so many ways to get your family moving. You can find numerous ways to exercise together and continue building great relationships!

1 comment:

  1. Love this post Cindy, its really important to spend quality time outdoors enjoying the beauty of God's creation. It doesn't have to cost much and my boys always love going on bike rides and looking for hiking sticks. You are teaching good habits of being active which will hopefully pass down to the next generation. Lots of great ideas.