Do you want to reconcile sports with family life? Exercising as a family allows you to enjoy special moments with loved ones and to optimise the time you spend together, helping you to let off steam, have fun and stay in shape. Which activities are the best ones to choose, taking into account to the age of the participants, and how can you give yourself the best chance of making a go of it?
Why should you play sport with the family?
At any age, taking part in a sporting activity is advisable to maintain good health and to fight against a sedentary lifestyle. Playing sport as a family will, therefore, benefit each of the participants. Indeed, such an initiative will not be lacking in advantages:
- Playing sports is a beneficial activity, a source of pleasure and something that helps to keep you in good spirits.
- Doing a physical exercise as a family helps to develop key values such as mutual respect, listening, sharing and solidarity.
- Physical activity with others helps strengthen the family bond: through a mixture of laughter, emotions, victories and defeats, adrenaline will be ever-present. As such, playing sports as a family will increase your sense of togetherness and create excellent memories that you will all share.
- The energy shared of exercising together is a great way to motivate yourself to start a sport.
- If the whole family engages in sporting activity, it will be easier for you to adapt your diet and make everyone aware of the importance of adopting a healthy and balanced dietary intake.
5 tips for enjoying sports as a family
There are several tips that can help you train together as a family which will motivate you to do more sport as a group:
- Start by finding a common thread with a suitable main activity that appeals to all participants. Then, you can vary the activities by trying out other family sports.
- Incorporate exercise into the family routine: go to school by bike, climb the stairs when the opportunity arises to do so, get in the habit of going for a walk after meals to aid your digestion and so on…
- Plan your sessions in a calendar that everyone can see to make it easier to organise your activities so you keep up your regular training.
- Involve each member of the family, including the children, in the big decisions concerning your new sporting routine: the choice of activities, the sort of equipment you will use, the creation of different circuits and so on…
- Make family sport more fun by setting challenges for yourself: cleaning up together to music, taking the dog out for a walk, cleaning the car, gardening or carrying groceries are all everyday activities which are more enjoyable when viewed as a sporting challenge. Who will have taken the most steps and will win the competition this week?
What sports are good to play as a family?
A large number of sporting activities you can take part in both indoors and outdoors are suitable for all generations: walking, hiking, cycling, running, mini-golf, ball games swimming, fitness sessions, dance and so on…
Sporting activities to do with a baby
If your family has just welcomed a new arrival, then you can try out these different options to associate it with your physical activities:
- Yoga: some positions are achievable by toddlers and come very naturally to them. You can also try some mother and baby yoga sessions.
- Swimming: many pools offer baby swimmer workshops which can be attended with parents.
- The fitness-stroller, also called gym-stroller: make your baby familiar with your return to sport after pregnancy. The principle is to use the stroller as an accessory to tone your figure. You can continue to play sports without leaving your baby!
Sports to play with teenagers
Eager for the thrills offered by the great outdoors, teenagers love the challenges and the freedom offered by outdoor sports. These sporting activities should appeal to the whole family:
- Throwing a frisbee
- Paddling a kayak
- Rock climbing
- Roller-blading and most board sports
Ideal sporting activities to enjoy with older family members
Playing sports with older family members is a very good idea and the possibilities are varied:
- Hiking or walking – Nordic walking is ideal for developing a more dynamic movement, while maintaining balance thanks to the walking sticks that are used.
- Running on foot.
- Cycling, in the form of circuits or more varied routes.
- Tai chi, yoga, gymnastics or other gentle fitness activities.
Whatever the composition of your family, you will create unforgettable memories by taking part in physical activities together! At any age, you can put together routines made up of muscle-strengthening exercises that provide small challenges at a family gathering. At home, if you have a fitness device, jot down your performance and compare your results on the same app: sharing the same passion and motivation will always help you to maintain a good mood.
Check out our Health & Fitness page for more advice.