As adults we’ve “grown up” enough to make running a boring task that we have to do. We run straight down the road, around the track and back again.
Kids don’t do this. They run because it’s part of a larger game, an adventure. They even run just for the pure fun of running. There’s no start or finish. It’s just movement for the love of it.
Which approach would you prefer for family running? Fun or Task? Which sounds easier to get everyone doing it?
We use a number of fun ways to get our family running, but here’s one of my favorite ones for the fall:
All you need is a good windy day and some space near trees about to lose their leaves.
When the wind gusts, see who can catch a leaf as they tumble through the air.
Be prepared for a bit of a challenge . . .
The wind and the leaves’ aerodynamics conspire to snatch a potential catch out of your hand just when you thought you had it. The only remedy is to let loose a guffaw and then start again.
Be prepared to look a little ridiculous . . .
I mean, c’mon, what adult spends time running around in circles with their hands outstretched, hat askew and a big grin firmly in place?
But most importantly, be prepared for fun . . .
You’ll be amazed at how preoccupied you all become with racing after leaves. Before you know it, you’ve spent a half hour racing around the yard in pursuit of these nimble fliers.
The task of running has disappeared . . . replaced by the joy of moving, the giggles and a full family feeling that can only come when you all are having a good time together.
The best part about this is that it’s so simple you can do it anywhere you’ve got some space. We’ve been walking to a soccer game . . . doing errands . . . even riding our bikes! And we’ve ended up pursuing leaves.
You can make it a special to-do: See who catches the first leaf of each year. Or who catches the most. Make a special prize or have a special dinner treat to celebrate. Take a photo with the triumphant leaf-seeker and their catch for each year.
Before you know it, your kitchen counter will be filled with ragged, crumbling leaves that have may look like anything but trophies.
But despite their humble appearance – you’ll know that each of those leaves marks golden time spent being active with your family. And a host of golden memories and irreplaceable family bonds that come with it.
Do you have a favorite fall family activity tradition?
About Sarah Clachar And Fit Family Together
Since expecting their first child, Sarah and her husband Cassius have made fitness a core part of their family life. From biking to hiking . . . from the heart of New York City to a farm in New England, they have found a way to stay active together. And through all this exercising as a family they discovered that family fitness builds not only strong bodies – but stronger families.
A professional health writer with a BA in biology, gardener and foodie Sarah brings a wealth of expertise in nutrition and health. A personal trainer and inveterate tinkerer, Cassius brings innovation to making family fitness work.
Ready to make family fitness part of your family life? Take the Fit Family Together 7 Day Family Fitness Challenge and put your own family fitness plan together.