Fun family activities that are good for you and your kids’ wellbeing

Get ready for some quality family activities that will get everyone moving, embracing a healthier lifestyle and, most importantly, having fun.

Getting your kids to move more may feel like a mission impossible, but there are simple ways to create a family adventure that not only brings you all closer, but also boosts your wellbeing.

According to a recent study, family support is the key to getting kids active.

Why it’s important to set a healthy example for your kids

Former NRL player Ben Lucas is a busy father of two and director of fitness studio Flow Athletic.

Ben says having active time as a family is a good way to help your kids build healthy habits.

“If your kids just see you sitting at your desk all day and then sitting on the couch once you finish work, they will see that as a normal routine for their family,” Ben, who regularly runs marathons, says.

“That is likely to continue to be their routine as they grow older.”

He recommends making exercise a regular part of your day.

“We walk our dog Max and walk to school every day,” Ben says.

Therapist and The Curious Life podcast host Jana Firestone says part of our role as parents is to create healthy habits for our kids.

Jana, who is the mother of three young boys, says having active family time together sets a good example of ways to have fun away from screens and move our bodies for physical and mental wellbeing.

4 fun family activities to boost wellbeing

If your kids need a nudge to get off the couch, here’s how to stay fit together – without having to scale mountains or brave rapids.

1. Visit the zoo

A trip to the zoo is always exciting and can be good for education and conservation efforts.

But moving from one display to the next has another benefit too – it’s a great trick to increase incidental activity.

Walking around the zoo, you and your kids will be absorbed in the sights and sounds, and you won’t even realise how many steps you’re taking.

It’s also good for physical and mental health, with a recent study finding participants’ blood pressure and cortisol levels fell significantly and their mood improved after visiting the zoo.

2. Throw an impromptu dance party

Clear some space in the living room, crank up some fun tunes, and have a boogie as a family.

Jana says her family loves to dance and have a blast together.

“One of the ways we sneak in some active fun together is by popping on our favourite tunes and having a dance-off in the lounge room,” Jana says.

“Dancing is a big hit in our house.”

Jana says dancing is an instant mood lifter and helps her family create happy memories together.

3. Play in your backyard

Kick-start an active afternoon by simply heading outside, Ben says.

Whether it’s throwing a ball, playing tag, building forts or climbing trees, outdoor free play is an easy and inexpensive way to increase physical activity levels in kids.

Researchers have found outdoor play improves children’s cognitive, social, physical and emotional wellbeing.

4. Take a nature walk

Embarking on a nature walk with your children is another fun way to get the whole family moving.

A Stanford University study found nature walks had many cognitive benefits, including decreased anxiety and improved memory.

Challenge your children to identify plants, name the different sounds they hear, or spot various birds and insects.

You don’t need to go far – explore a local park or hiking trail, a nearby creek, or even your own backyard.

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Written by Bianca Carmona.