New Year’s Resolution: Scrap the Judgy Fitness Guidelines & Just Have Fun

January 3, 2017

Happy 2017! If you’re like us, you’re probably thinking about how to switch things up in the new year. Sure, we have our self-improvement goals — Declutter!! Compost!! Learn a new skill!!

But just as high on our list of New Year’s resolutions is this: Have more fun and feel good! If you’re with us, then here are 6 ways you and your family can get moving to get more out of life:

Find your bliss: Runners aren’t the only ones who can get high on exercise. Endorphins, a happy neurochemical that kicks in with any vigorous movement — even a good laugh — are an amazing side benefit of exercise. What’s more, moving stimulates circulation, delivering oxygen to the muscles and brain, which means more energy to get things done — and have fun!

Break it up: Want to enjoy cardio’s feel-good effects throughout your day? Inject small bursts of activity into your family’s to-do list. Adding in a 15-minute walk-run here, two 10-minute sessions of rope skipping there, and a 20-minute dance party while the chicken is roasting are great ways to build endurance and brighten everyone’s mood.

Bring it on home: We know, workout videos are sooooo 1987. Still, they’re handy for getting the family moving right in your own living room. One of our faves, 6 Fit Kids’ Workouts from Fitness magazine’s best-of list, which features African and Latin dance combos. If your kids into Musical.ly, get them to create their own song and dance videos to their favorite Bruno Mars tune.

Ditch the ride: Leave the car at home on those short jaunts to the library, grocery or local café. Headed too far to go on foot? Park the car or get off the bus or train a half-mile short of your final destination. You’ll arrive energized. Once you’re there, skip the elevators and escalators and take the stairs!

Enjoy the great outdoors: An hour or so outside, playing tag or kickball, riding bikes around the neighborhood, building forts and climbing trees is one of the best circuit trainings there is, according to a KidsHealth study, which says kids can burn more calories and have more fun when left to their own devices. If you live in a city with limited outdoor space, just enter your zip code into the Map of Play to find places near you where the entire family can roam free and and have fun.

Up the Karma quotient: If your kids like to do good — find a walk-a-thon or kids’ 5K for a cause that matters to them so they can channel their energy for good. The UNICEF Kid Power Band, which turns steps into food aid for malnourished children, is another way to go. So on those days when no one feels like leaving the house—and we all have them!—remind your family why being active can be one of the greatest ways to give back to yourself — and others!

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