Exercise for the sake of exercise has never been my gig. I know getting a good work out is as "easy" as stepping out the door for a walk but my efforts at making this a regular part of my routine have been half-hearted at best.
I am thankful for our weekend hikes that take our family up a mountain and down again, walking (with packs) usually six to eight miles. That's a good start. But I've been wondering for some time how to add more walking to our weekday routine.
Thank goodness for my husband, who is both very health conscious (he has lifted weights or run/walked almost each day for years) and a creative problem solver. It was his idea, to turn our regular, weekly trip to the library into a family walk night. Sigh. I love this man.
So now, instead of driving to the library on Wednesday morning (just me and the kids) we walk together as a family one night a week. It's a bit challenging. I have to have supper on the table by 5pm and there are dishes to be done when we get home at 8pm but it's worth these little inconveniences.
Damien and I are always looking for ways to integrate our family values into common and shared activities. And I think we just hit upon a good solution to incorporate more exercise into our weekday lives, spend quality time together and accomplish a key piece in the weekly homeschool routine.
The walk itself is just over 3 miles, round trip. And if we hoof it (and we do) it takes us 35 minutes one way. Because we are carrying weight on our backs we are building bone strength. This is especially important for me because of my slight build so I carry a larger proportion of the weight.
Carrying all this weight helps us train for backpacking as well. Another one of our family activities.
We intend to carry on through rain and snow (come hell or high water - we do cross a bridge afterall); training ourselves to be out in all kinds of weather to further prepare ourselves for trail adventures.
So far we've done two weeks and we're finding our groove. The kids are delighted to have daddy come along to the library. They've been going to this library since they were toddlers and they love sharing this experience with him. I love the excerise. I actually like to work my body but need to have a mission, a reason other than "I do this because it's good for me". I also appreciate the help in finding books for the kids to read.
To say this weekly activity is a win-win-win all around is an understatement.
There are many distractions in modern life that can pull us away from each other and take us in different directions (usually driving multiple vehicles). This is a state of family life we wish to avoid. And so we are very intentional about how we spend our time and what we get involved in.
Damien recently wrote about how our family is choosing to enjoy the outdoors together instead of taking separate directions into age segregated, sex segregated and parent/child segregated team sports. I encourage you to read that article. Especially if you are wondering if there is a way to raise fit, healthy, fun and active children without being involved in typical, modern sports (which I have nothing against by the way, it's just not for us).
These weekly trips to the library are just another part of that healthy, whole family picture.
Have you found ways to execise together as a family?