Is your family bored with movie night? Are you looking for something new to do together? These fun family fitness challenge ideas can get your bunch up, moving, and having a great time together, no matter what your age or fitness level. Make it a contest? Why not? You don’t have to work against each other. You can also work together. The point is to have fun, get fit, and maybe even try something new.

Fitness Challenge Ideas for Ordinary Humans

Let’s face it — we all know that one family of jocks. Dad’s a marathoner. Mom’s a competitive bodybuilder. And every kid is the star of some team. But that family is not most people. You don’t need to be an athlete to have fun with fitness. Likewise, you don’t have to be a star to have a great time competing with each other. You can even cut out the competition and work together toward a common goal, if that’s how your family rolls. But first, you need to figure out a starting point.

First, assess your family’s fitness

It’s important to know where to start if you want to figure out where you’re going. Knowing your physical limits will help you to both push them, and, more importantly, to prevent injury while doing so. Three standard measures of fitness are flexibility, strength, and aerobic endurance. Here are some simple tests that everyone in the family can do to measure their fitness in these areas.

Next, set some goals

Graphic for S.M.A.R.T. goal for fitness challenge

Image CC0, by Geralt, via Pixabay

You might have heard of “smart goals.” S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym. Each letter stands for a way to make your goal easier to measure and easier to achieve.

S is for specific

It’s easier to meet your goal, if you have defined that goal. “Getting fit” is so general, it’s meaningless. However, “being able to jog a mile without stopping” is concrete enough to fit into your fitness challenge ideas.

M is for measurable

Keeping your eyes on the prize is easier, if you can measure your progress toward it. Likewise, if you know your work is paying off, it’s easy to stay motivated. Try to think in terms of number goals like distance, numbers of repetitions, or time. That way, you can tell if your fitness challenge ideas are working, or if you need to step things up.

A is for agreed upon

Agreeing on a common goal makes everyone’s commitment stronger. In addition, everyone can support each other and cheer each other on. Family fitness is a “together” activity and a team sport. So, you’ll need to be working for the same thing.

R is for realistic 

Nothing kills motivation faster than realizing there’s no way you can meet your goal. Think about what’s realistic and achievable for your family. If it’s a big goal, break it into smaller mini-goals that you know you can achieve. Then, watch your family’s excitement build every time they succeed.

T is for time-related

Putting a time limit on your goal will help you make it a priority. Check community listings for races and events you could work toward. Or choose a calendar goal, like the end of the school year. This will help you to plan your challenge, track your progress, and keep your goal at the front of your mind.

Now, work up to it together

Some fitness challenge ideas - Mother and daughter walking and bike riding through the forest.

Image CC0, by ljcor, via Pixabay

If your family is easing into fitness, try building up your general fitness levels before starting toward your goal. Take a look at some of these beginner exercise routines, for example. These routines are designed to help you and your family increase your strength, flexibility, and endurance safely. You could also try out some family walks. Family walks are a great way to relax together. Additionally, you can use the time to touch base with each other. Most importantly, improving your family’s overall fitness will make it easier to reach your goals. Plus, you’ll have less chance of stopping due to injury.

Physical activity: variety and fun

If you see exercise as a grind, you’re dooming your efforts before you begin. Talk with your family members. Then, see what different people think might be some fitness challenge ideas. Try a variety of activities, and let each family member choose one that everyone will try. How about indoor rock climbing? Or off-road biking? Believe it or not, kite flying is a terrific, and terrifically fun way to get your heart pounding. If you keep it playful, it will be something to look forward to.

5 Weight Loss and Fitness Challenge Ideas to Get You Started

Competition can keep your motivation burning, even when you’re tempted to slack off. And you can tailor your competition to fit your family’s personality. Family members can compete against each other — as long as you keep it friendly. Or, you can all work together for a prize that everyone shares, like a vacation. You can even team up to compete with — or cooperate with — other families. Just make sure you lay out your goals in advance.

First, should you do a fitness challenge or weight loss challenge?

Many doctors advise against pushing children to lose weight. They often recommend exercise and nutrition education for its own sake, instead. In addition, making weight loss part of the contest, like a “biggest loser” challenge, may encourage unhealthy behaviors in children and adults alike.

However, if your pediatrician has specifically encouraged you to help your children lose weight, your family may enjoy a weight loss challenge. Or they may enjoy cheering you on with your own weight loss challenge. Just remember that crash dieting hurts more than it helps. The Centers for Disease Control recommend trying to lose no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week. In addition, when you lose weight through exercise and good nutrition, you’re more likely to keep it off.

3 Perfect Family Fitness challenge ideas

Want to challenge your family members to increase their fitness levels? Here are some fitness challenge ideas.

mother and daughter competing in a family fitness challenge

Image Public Domain, by Lance Corporal Caitlin Bevel, via the U.S. Marine Corps

1. The 15 day challenge workout

Anytime Fitness has a 15-day challenge workout that’s super customizable and made for maximum flexibility and fun. Ready? Only 15 minutes of activity per day, as a family, for 15 days. That it? That’s it! You can do 15 minutes, can’t you? The idea is that you’ll be having so much fun, you’ll go on for longer than that. But even if you don’t, increasing your daily activity by 15 minutes can help you and your family to connect and to get fit. You can visit their interactive web page for both indoor and outdoor fitness challenge ideas. You can also download a printable chart to keep track of your family’s progress. This is an excellent challenge for families with small children, as well as for anyone starting out in fitness.

2. The 15 day fit body challenge

If your children are older or your group is looking for something more serious, how about a 15 day fit body challenge? One of the most popular 15 day fit body challenge programs is from trainer Lindsey Matthews. Using videos, recipes, and inspiration, Matthews will challenge you to increase your strength, flexibility, endurance, and nutrition. This program’s fitness goals are personalized and measurable, making it one of the best fitness challenge ideas of all. Best of all, the program is free, can be done at home, and doesn’t require more than 20 minutes a day of your time. Check out Day 1 of Lindsey’s 15 day fit body challenge in this video.

3. How about a fitness challenge app?

An app can help family members track their progress, individually and together. Some will require a wearable tracker. Others, you can download to your phone. Check out some of the best fitness tracking apps of 2018 here.

2 Weight loss challenge ideas

fitness challenge ideas: scale with apple and a measuring tape

Image CC0 by Tero Vesalanien, via Pixabay

If your physician has recommended weight loss for your family, try a 30 day weight loss challenge. Weight loss should be a slow, safe process. And 30 days will get your mind used to the idea of committing for the long term.

1. Some 30 day challenge ideas for weight loss

Health Magazine has a 30 day challenge that provides daily ideas for weight loss. By trying out one healthy change each day, you can pick up some healthy habits that work for you.

Shape Magazine has another 30 day weight loss challenge that will introduce you to new exercises and nutrition tips. You can do all the exercises at home, with no special equipment required.

2. Weight loss challenge prize ideas

In our culture, junk food is often a reward. But not for weight loss! Instead, think of something your whole family will enjoy. First, have a family meeting where you ask for ideas. These can be as extravagant as a family vacation or as simple as a trip to the movies. The important thing is that it will motivate you when you’re tempted to skip out. Double points if your prize — like a family pool membership — helps you to further your fitness goals.

Now Get Going!

Family fitness is a great reason to come together. In fact, a family fitness challenge can make it fun. First, assess everyone’s fitness level. Next, set your goals. Then, pick your prize. Finally — go for it! Try these fitness challenge ideas — just for the fun of it.


Featured Image: CC by 2.0, by the U.S. Army, via Flickr

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This