Sometimes it can be difficult to get the family involved in fitness. Between schedule conflicts and long days at work, making it into the gym seems to get moved to the back burner.
Have you ever tried to drag the family to the gym for structured fitness? It seems like a novel idea but doesn’t always pan out. The children have to be checked into the kids center. Then the teenagers sit on some random machine and fiddle on their phones until you are done. You may find it difficult to focus on your workout while you are constantly checking on everyone.
Even with couples, it is common for one person to not want to spend their free time in a gym. There are other things they would rather be doing. No biggie. There are other ways to get physical exercise without pumping iron.
Las Vegas has plenty of public places for the family. Parks are great places to get some fresh air and run around. Many planned communities have neighborhood parks with play equipment for the kids and fields to run in.
Instead of splitting up, how about doing something that involves the whole family? It doesn’t take much to pull everyone’s attention toward each other. I suggest a nice game of toss. Use a baseball, football, Frisbee, soccer ball, volleyball, tennis ball, water balloons. Anything really.
If your family is small, then toss back and forth. If you have a large family with many cousins, make teams and enjoy the competition.
Teams don’t have to have the recommended number of players and you don’t have to follow any sort of rules. If you have a soccer ball and five people, then play something that looks like soccer.
Don’t worry about an official ref with rules and red cards; just find something that passes for a goal line and start kicking. You may even allow younger members of the family to use their hands.
You don’t have a ball? Not a problem. Freeze tag is my go-to impromptu game. You may find out that Dad isn’t as fast as he used to be or enjoy letting Mom be “frozen” for a while.
The point of family exercise is to get moving and have fun. If some family members have injuries or conditions that limit play time, then scale the sport. Make it easier or harder to accommodate different abilities. Take out running for those with knee problems. Avoid throwing for those with shoulder problems. If there is someone who has trouble moving in general, then make them the “random rule initiator.” They have to change one rule or make a new one every few minutes. Now no one knows what is going on but everyone is trying to do something. If anything, you’ll all laugh because if feels like work but more fun.
Just because I advise loose rules and fun doesn’t mean we can’t break movement down and find some mechanical gems. If you watch the pros in any sport you can find one of their secrets to great power.
It’s called triple extension. That’s the straightening of the hip, knee and ankle. Why is this so important? It gives the athlete the most power the body can muster. As you watch sports, pay attention during the slow-motion shots.
A runner making a sprint for the end zone will be in triple extension. Watch closely as a tennis player serves; yep, there’s triple extension again. It’s also present when baseball batters hit a home run, also in the pitch. Golf swings, throws, jumps, lifts and anything in a sport that we think is worth watching will probably have the triple extension in it somewhere.
This most sparkly of physical gems is not only for the pros. We can work on our triple extension too. Described today is how you can get the most out of your throws by incorporating triple extension into your movement. Try these with your family.
Chris Huth is a Las Vegas trainer. He can be reached at email@example.com. If you are a Las Vegas trainer and want to share your love of fitness as a guest coach, please contact him. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.