Spend time getting fit with the whole family

IT'S easy to blame kids for sabotaging your gym-time, but your offspring shouldn't be an excuse to give up on fitness.

Replacing screen-time with a few bursts of regular physical fun sets up good habits for your kids and brings your family closer.

Make the most of daylight saving and enjoy these family-friendly activities.


Tickle fight trim-down

Gym-goers who ditch the kids for the solitary treadmill are missing out on some seriously funny health benefits.

Among the many pay-offs, laughter improves immune system function and burns calories.

A study by Vanderbilt University Medical Centre states, "Ten to 15 minutes of laughter could increase energy expenditure by 10 to 40 calories per day, which could translate into about 2kg over a year."

So, while six-year-olds laugh on an average of 300 times daily and adults a po-faced 17, it makes good health sense to choose a fitness buddy who brings infectious laughter.

Activities that are sure to garner a giggle include like laser-tag, hide and seek, 10-pin bowling, backyard trampolining and daggy dancing.


Get into gardening

Family fitness begins in your own backyard. You dig?

Starting a vegie patch is not only great way to get your kids interested in vegies, it's also a rewarding fitness activity for all.

Based on an 80kg adult, general gardening burns 290 calories per hour (or a Snickers bar), while real hard yakka like hauling branches and pushing wheelbarrows burns 350.

Mowing the lawn burns a whopping 385 calories or the equivalent of half a Big Mac.

Repeatedly trying to start a stubborn pull-start lawnmower probably burns a whole lot more, but swearing around small children is frowned upon.

Joining your local community garden as a family or organising a working bee among friends is not only a great way to get fit, it's a social day out for all.

Family cycling

Recreational shared paths mean if your eldest won't be seen dead alongside you in your stack hat and bike shorts, they can always ride ahead on their skateboard or scooter.

Cycling with younger kids also gives novice adults a good excuse to legally stick to the footpath.

According to the law, people aged 12 years or older are not permitted to ride bicycles on the footpath, unless they are accompanying a child who is under 12 years of age and the child is under the rider's supervision.


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Topics:  exercise family fitness health lifestyle

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