fitness ideas for families

Summer holiday season is in full swing, and that means that the kids are at home a lot more than usual, potentially wrecking havoc on your fitness plans. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a few tips and a bit of planning ahead, you can still have a fun and fit summer holidays.

Schedule fitness in

Scheduling your workout sessions is a good habit to get into generally as it helps you make fitness a habit and to stick to a routine. But it’s even more important when the kids are at home. Block out specific times around your family activities that are dedicated to your workouts and make sure your children know that they can’t disturb you during it.

To go one better, get yourself a regular appointment with a personal trainer. That way, you’ve got something in the calendar that you cannot miss and the extra accountability of letting someone down if you do.

The early bird…

Perhaps a hard one for night owls, but getting your workout in before the rest of the family wake up means you won’t be interrupted and can keep to a routine. The summer holidays are usually a busy time for parents and commitments can soon stack up throughout the day. After a long day of childcare and work, your fitness routine might fall by the wayside. Getting it in early means there’s no risk of missing a workout because of family or work responsibilities.

Plan plan plan

This doesn’t just mean scheduling in your workouts. Make sure you know what kind of workout you’re going to do before you head to the gym, park or do a home session. That way, you’ll optimise the time that you actually have (especially if it’s already limited because of the holidays).

Lay out your workout clothes beforehand so you don’t have to think about what to wear. Just pull them on and get going!

Meal prep can be really important during this time as well. Numerous family outings can cause havoc with your eating habits. Many family-friendly destinations like theme parks and beaches offer numerous sweet and fatty treats. Whilst it’s okay to have these once in a while, if you’re going somewhere every day during the summer then you’ll want some healthy alternatives. Plus, knowing you’ve already prepared dinner means you’re less likely to reach for the takeaway menu after a day of looking after the kids.

Include your children

The kids are at home and that means they’ve got time to join you for a workout. There’s a lot of fun ways to get your family exercising and it can help you vary your routine too. Why not plan an active outing like hiking or mountain biking? Or explore local activities such as trampolining, rock climbing and swimming. Some gyms will also allow kids in.

Some exercises you can do with your kids include squats, lunges, burpees and mountain climbers. Just make sure your kids can keep up! You can make these a bit more fun by making it a bit of a race – see if they can beat their number of reps each minute, for example. Form is really important, however, so check they can do each exercise correctly or get a professional (like me!) involved.

If your children are still in their pram, then you can also get jogging strollers that will allow you to run with them down the park. But you don’t just have to run – you can try other traveling exercises like walking lunges.

Work out at the playground

Similar to above, if your kids want to spend the afternoon down the local playground then head over there with your workout kit on. Experiment to see what exercises you can do on the playground equipment. Monkey bars are good for pull-ups, and raised burpees on a swing can be really challenging. You’ll soon work up a sweat.

Break it into smaller chunks

If you’re struggling to find the time to do a full 45-60 minute workout, then break it up. Do 10-20 minutes of high-intensity exercise in the morning and supplement it throughout the day with other short workouts. Do some quick mountain climbers in the living room during an ad break, or lunges in the kitchen whilst cooking dinner. A little is better than nothing.

Stay at home

Speaking of which, if you’re at home with the kids you can still get a good workout. Plan a session of bodyweight exercises like squats, switch lunges, burpees (if room allows) and push-ups. No matter the space you have, you can find something to do. If you want to take it up a level, then get resistance bands, a TRX or adjusting weights that will make your workout harder without taking up too much space.

Don’t beat yourself up about it

The summer holidays are a hectic time and sometimes your fitness routine does suffer. Try to do as much as you can, whenever you can. But remember, it isn’t forever and when the kids go back to school you can pick up your usual routine again. Fitness is a journey, which means sometimes you’ll go a bit off-track. As long as you get back on the road again after the holidays, you’ll end up at your destination eventually.

Need help?

Need some extra help this summer holiday? Contact us to find out how a personal trainer can take your summer holiday workout to the next level.