Why Exercise Together?

by Angela Yorke | July 4th, 2011 | Exercises, Family Fitness

Everyone knows how important it is to be healthy, especially those who are always planning to “set some time aside for exercise.” The most obvious benefit of a fitness regime is that, well, you get fitter and healthier. Exercise buffs also know that working out allows a person to clear his or her head, and put present problems into perspective, which results in a more balanced outlook. On the other hand, less has been said about the importance of exercising together as a family.

For one thing, exercising with your children (or parents) provides numerous opportunities to educate one another on the importance of staying active. It’s easy to talk about what healthy habits entail, and it’s also easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you’re setting a good example by just showing your kids or parents how dedicated you are to exercising.

The lesson won’t actually take hold unless everyone gets out there and gets moving. Organizing family exercise sessions is the one of the best ways to drive home the message that fitness is extremely important.

If left to their own devices indoors, most kids would devise their own entertainment, such as seeing how many cosmetic items they can pull out of a drawer before anyone notices. Older kids would be more interested in developing exceptional hand-eye coordination (computer/video games); however, having the family exercise together regularly creates opportunities for everyone to gain new knowledge and experience, while developing a new skill.

For instance, accompanying my mother to her weekly tai chi lessons has taught me an appreciation for doing things at a slower pace. I’ve also expanded my circle of friends, and have learned that most older ladies relish the idea of playing matchmaker for their young handsome sons/grandsons. I also know tai chi.

Exercising together is also similar to having meals together, only it’s easier to discern someone’s character from the way they approach a steep hill compared to their approach to brussel sprouts.

The simple act of going for a long run give the family a chance to connect and bond as a unit, developing camaraderie, cooperation, and understanding that can only come about through physical exertion. It’s probably like being a Marine, only without the constant heckling (unless you have a really mean trainer).

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.