Ideas for getting (and staying) active as a family in January

It’s fair to say that December can be characterised as a month of excess. People often purchase food and drink items that they don’t the rest of the year and generally tend to buy more of everything. There are more events, meet ups, meals out, get togethers and lots of left-overs. At the same time, normal routines and schedules are often paused as clubs and activities have a break over the festive season.

Whilst all of this can be a welcome break from the norm, and, the festive season is something that so many people look forward to, there can also be a downside.

The ‘excess’ of December can make us all feel a little sluggish and far from our normal selves and a decline in activity can have a number of knock-on effects, including poor behaviour in children, and a general lethargy, for, well, everything.

So, come January, how can we get the whole family moving again and improve moods all around? It doesn’t have to be hard work, here are a few thoughts. Just bear in mind that not all approaches will suit everyone, so you may need to flex the approach depending on the family member.

Get those family walks in

Walking as a family can be a great way to get everyone moving and out and about in the fresh air, without making it a huge deal. With small children I’ve always found saying things like “let’s go on an adventure”, rather than “a walk” goes down better. Also walking with a specific destination in mind can be good. So, perhaps you could walk to the local park, or take a football and walk to the nearest open green space near your home even? Perhaps, walk to a friends house? Or somewhere locally where you can explore woodland, if that’s a possibility for you.

This way exercise, movement and fresh air all happen without anyone realising it!

Make it a competition

Perhaps you have family members that would respond better to a competition? If you have things like activity trackers, apps on smartphones or even a fancy apple watch, you could challenge family members to daily step challenges, or even a set number of push ups or minutes doing a plank, if that’s the kind of thing they would go for.

We have regular push up challenges at home, which normally ends with our petite seven year old busting out 50 with one arm behind his back and therefore putting us all to shame!

I absolutely love my activity tracker. I’ve had it a few years now and I simply change the strap every so often. If you need a new apple watch strap , there are tons online to choose from. It always pays to have a spare around.

Start something new

Perhaps it could be time to start something new. If you, or a family member are stuck in a bit of a rut, trying out a new hobby or activity could be the way forward. Maybe there’s a club to join? Maybe it’s a couple of family members doing something together, if there is a shared interest in a particular sport for example? Having someone to go with helps with accountability and persevering with something.

Whilst it’s good to try new things, the aim is to stick at something so it becomes a new routine. Anything that involves moving your body and/or being outside can dramatically improve physical and mental health over time. The key is to find something you enjoy, not something that feels like a chore. The more someone enjoys something, the more likely they are to stick with whatever it is!

Have you planned any changes this January? Do let me know in a comment below.

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