In our busy, hectic lives, both family time and fitness time may get shuffled to the bottom of our to-do lists. But maintaining good health and spending time with our families are essential to stress relief, longevity, and truly enjoying life. What’s the solution? Turn family time into family fitness time!

Remember that any activity your family chooses can be an opportunity to build relationships and maintain good health. Work as a team to come up with a list of different fitness activities that accommodate everyone’s schedules on a regular basis.

There aren’t many kids who don’t like to swim — in fact, you might find the hard part of taking your kids swimming is getting them out of the pool. Once you’re all in the water together, the options for exercise are endless. Each of you can take turns deciding what to do next. Mom might pick running laps in the shallow end, while Dad might choose a treading water contest in the deep end.

An hour of swimming can burn up to 300 calories, gives all the major muscle groups in your body a good workout, and is great exercise for your heart and lungs.

Hiking & Walking
How about an activity that costs very little and doesn’t take specialized skills or equipment? All you need is a good pair of walking shoes for each family member, a backpack or two, water, and some snacks. Most communities offer green space where families can enjoy walks in the woods or other natural terrain.

Walking can burn up to 100 calories per hour and works the cardiovascular system while toning and strengthening the legs.

It’s wonderful to see that many communities are now paving over old railway tracks and canal towpaths into traffic-free, family-friendly cycling routes. Older and younger children will love the freedom of being able to bike as fast or slow as they like without worrying about car traffic.

Cycling improves cardiovascular fitness, keeps muscles strong and toned, and burns several hundred calories per hour.

Outdoor activities
Time spent in the garden, a game of tag in the backyard, or some fun on the swings and slides at the playground all provide great family quality time while also ensuring everyone gets some exercise.

– alive is a natural health and wellness magazine. Visit for more.