Consider the phrase “Lead by example.” That statement carries a lot of clout in the home life. Think about how hard it would be for one of your loved ones who is trying to live a more healthy lifestyle if you were not there to support them. Even if you don’t know the exact way to make it happen, you can still make their job easier by giving them moral support.


Reverse the roles and put yourself in their shoes for a second. You go out to eat as a family and instead of getting a triple bacon cheeseburger, you opt for a salad topped with a baked chicken breast.

Everyone laughs and makes fun of you, and tries to convince you to follow their unhealthy lead. Continuous ridicule and lack of support of this nature can cause you to fall right off the wagon. Turn that around by being the key motivator that gets everyone ON board instead of off.

We’ve brainstormed a few ideas for you to help your family do just that. Here are some helpful considerations:


It really doesn’t get any easier than purchasing some home gym equipment to encourage physical activity and health in your family. A balance of cardio machines and weights is the best way to go. Treadmills, ellipticals, rowers, kettlebells and dumbbells are some examples. Try some of these fitness solutions to get your family healthy and happy.

  • Hire a personal trainer to come to the house. Find someone who specializes in group training so you can all work out together.
  • Purchase a Wii system and schedule a tournament with the whole family. Games like Just Dance involve mirroring dance moves that you watch on the screen. The intensity level often gets so high that you will break into a good sweat.
  • Purchase a cardio machine like a treadmill, rower, exercise bike or elliptical. Everyone can use these at times that fit their schedules.
  • Clear out a room and do family workouts along to a fitness DVD like dance aerobics or core training. You may want to get some quality exercise mats if you do this on a hard floor surface.
  • Make a fitness competition Challenge everyone in your family to exercise at least 30 minutes a day for 30 days in a row. Choose a prize for the winner who makes it the longest. That way you have something to strive for and this can keep everyone motivated.


Vacations are great times for families to bond, catch up with one another and de-stress from the daily grind. When it comes time to book your next getaway, look for a place that involves a lot of daily activity. Here are a few examples.

  • Golf resort – Golfing itself does not take much work, but by the time you play even 9 holes, you will have done a lot of walking.
  • Dude ranch – Aside from horseback riding, these often involve sport activities like volleyball and mountain biking.
  • Ski resort – Find one that also offers cross-country skiing, skate skiing and horseshoeing.
  • Beach resort – The beach is a great place to run, go for walks, play volleyball and throw a Frisbee or football.
  • Fitness retreat – These all-inclusive excursions offer multiple fitness options in one package like yoga, swim lessons, personal training, rock climbing and ropes courses.

Make it a point to do at least one physical activity together every day, even if it’s only for an hour. Keep it as playful as possible so everyone buys in. And remember, you’re on vacation so it should be fun.


Going outside and being surrounded by mother nature is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind. You will often hear this referred to as ecotherapy. Here are a few ways to engage in the great outdoors.

  • Organize family walks after dinner. This is one of the easiest ways to get more activity in. Walking can also help with digestion.
  • Go to a local park to do yoga in the grass. If you live close enough, you can walk there to get more physical activity.
  • Play games like badminton, volleyball and flag football. All of which can be done right from the comfort of your own back yard.
  • Go for long bike rides on the weekend. Mountain biking is especially fun because of the alternating terrain you go through. Set a local destination that has really nice views and lookouts that you can ride to.


There’s something zen-like about planting seeds and watching them grow and blossom into produce. Get everyone to participate in this project and you can even have each member of your family choose a particular section of the garden to be responsible for.

The idea of group participation won’t seem like such an arduous task and everyone will contribute their share of work. Once the crops are harvested, partake in meal preparation that involves the entire family.


Most gyms have family plans available that will save you money in the long run. Some gyms are more like recreation centers that have such activities as racquetball, tennis, basketball and swim lessons. Treat this as playtime where you attend as a family. You don’t necessarily have to work out together, but if you are all present and doing something, it’s still better than not going at all.

With a little bit of research and the right planning, you and your family can be well on your way to being healthy, happy and fired up. Remember that it’s the little things in life that lead to the biggest changes.