The fall season usually inspires excitement about creating new goals. Perhaps it’s a remnant from my days as a public school teacher, but back-to-school/homeschool time feels a little like a new year.
As you’re modifying your family’s schedules and creating goals together, here are a few tips for incorporating fitness into your new routines. (Yep, acronym style. Bear with me.)
Fall for Family Fitness
F – Footwork. Fitness doesn’t just mean lifting weights in a gym or participating on a sports team. You have multiple options for varying age and ability levels, plus options to complete together as a family. One big tip: Choose an activity that gets your feet and legs moving. Use large muscle groups to ensure enough work occurs to increase fitness.
A few ideas: walking, skating, hiking, geocaching, swimming, dancing, jumping rope.
A – Add it slowly. Many families who take a break in between “school years” ease back into the routine slowly by adding one or two core subjects a week over a few weeks. Too much all at once can cause burnout. Apply the same idea to fitness. Increase your frequency, time, or weight/load slowly so your body adjusts with reduced risk of injury. Plus, you can find time for one workout a week easier than five. As you add one fitness session in, add another session the next week, and so on. See more tips in this article on when to increase your exercise.
L – Look for opportunities. Search out ways to incorporate fitness into your lessons for an energy boost or motivation for your kinesthetic learners. Sneak fitness in as you’re running errands by taking the stairs. Incorporate a 5-minute push-up and jumping jacks contest in between homeschool subjects. Organize your home spaces to encourage activity. Schedule a family bike ride one evening a week. Set fitness goals as a family. Pick active ideas for quality time with your spouse and children.
L – Link with learning. Incorporate movement and fitness into core subject learning as often as you can. Not only does this strategy benefit your kids with hands-on learning, but it can also help boost memory of material and increase understanding of a concept. Check out this post on a flexibility experiment and this post on predicting and measuring heart rate (both from The Homeschool Scientist) for examples of content combined with fitness. You can also ask your older kids to create an active game focused on a content-related theme.
What goals do you hope to work towards in family fitness? Would any of these ideas help you?