Get Your Family Moving

Have you thought about how great it would be to include your family in your pursuit to exercise more regularly? Family exercise will improve the health of your loved ones, make exercise more fun and at the same time develop stronger connections between all of you. With a little creativity, you can find a way to make it work for everyone.

Fort Lauderdale is home to many green parks, playgrounds and tracks. Why not make the most of them this summer and get out there and start using them to get yourself or your entire family into shape!

Visit your local park.

You can’t help but be active and play while in a place of recreation, and Fort Lauderdale is full of these opportunities. The more you mix up your activities, the more fun you’re going to have while getting fit. These outdoor activity options have something for the whole family: Hiking, walking, jogging, backpacking, walking the dog, climbing. Many parks even offer swimming, canoeing, waterskiing or rafting.
You can also utilize the free resources the park has to offer by turning a tree or a bench into your own personal workout equipment. Some examples follow.

Tree plank

Target your abs, back, chest and shoulders while getting in touch with nature. Here’s how:
On all fours, face your back to a tree trunk, creating a distance of a few feet. Keep your elbows tucked underneath your shoulders and both forearms on the ground.
Straighten your legs one at a time and walk them up the tree while keeping your body parallel to the ground.
Hold this position for 10 seconds, then rest for another 10 and repeat 5 times.

Bench leg raises

Work that behind with a bench!
Stand at least a foot in front of a bench (with your back to the bench) and your hands clasped in front of your chest, elbows bent.
Lift your right leg and straighten it in front of you four inches off the ground then bend the left knee to sit down on the bench.
Keep your right leg raised and stand up immediately while pressing through left heel to straighten the left leg.
Switch legs and repeat, 12 reps.

Swing mountain climber

For a challenge this is perfect for days at the park.
Begin in a push-up position with both palms on the seat of the swing and your feet on the ground.
Keeping your lower back stable, bring one knee in toward your chest, and then return it to starting position.
Alternate knees and repeat for 45 seconds, increasing your speed to add intensity.

Get out in the yard

Sunshine, fresh air, soft breezes and the smells of nature — what could be better? When we think of yard work, those words generally do not come to mind. Self-powered yard work can be an incredible source of fun, relaxing exercise. It might be a time-saver too if you can use it to offset some gym time. The whole family can get involved during various seasons. Younger children can help weed, plant, water and rake. Older children can help with carrying, mulching, shoveling and mowing. What a great reward for the whole family! When the “work” out is over, sit back and enjoy your lush, freshly-landscaped yard.

Take an active family staycation

Instead of spending time lounging on the beach, plan a staycation that’s full of fun, outdoor activities that utilize all the fun Fort Lauderdale has to offer.Try to incorporate some of these ideas into your next staycation, so your family does at least one activity each day:
Go swimming or play at a local beach or park.
Hike a trail in a national park.
Take walking tours of historical landmarks.
Go kayaking or canoeing with a guide.
Go on a bicycle tour.
Paddle boat at a local beach or park.
Try snorkeling or scuba diving.

Exercises that feel less like work and more like play are always fun. Spicing up your workout this summer is a great way to explore nature and new ways to keep yourself and your family in shape.

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