Family Workouts: Intermediate

Linda Melone, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer

If your family isn't in the habit of exercising on a regular basis, it may be time to bump up the activity for everyone. Adults need 30 minutes on most days of the week and children should be active 60 minutes a day, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Since the activity can be broken up into smaller increments, it's easy to combine short bike rides and walks in the park with more structured exercise and sports. Aside from the health benefits of physical activity, children who exercise vigorously for 20 minutes a day at least three days a week perform better academically, according to an ACSM study.

So, if you're currently exercising only on weekends, set aside a couple of additional weekday evenings to turn off (or limit) TV and computer activities. Substitute outdoor or indoor activities or sign the family up for a class. Check your local gym for classes such as swimming or aerobics in which the entire family can participate. Depending on the age of your children, have them join you in a weight-training workout. Check with a certified personal trainer if you're unsure of how to adjust resistance and seats for your child.

Tips to Up the Ante

  • Create a family-activity calendar listing various weekday activities
  • Look into geocaching ( for hikes suitable for your family's fitness level
  • Hold family meetings allowing a different person to choose the activities for that week
  • Keep a variety of exercise toys readily available: Frisbees, balls, tubing, etc.
  • Look into local gyms or YMCAs near you for family-focused exercise classes
  • Try treasure-hunting/hiking games like geocaching ( for hikes appropriate for everyone
  • Join a local bike club or gather neighborhood families for regular biking outings

Activities to Try

Mix and match these activities and create your own versions to keep it fun. Kids should try to do at least 60 minutes of activity per day;
adults should aim for at least 30 minutes.

Week 1

Monday - Take the family biking
Tuesday - Meet at the local gym for swimming
Wednesday - Go to the park and play for an hour
Thursday - Exercise to a home exercise DVD—alternate who chooses
Friday - Hike or do geocaching

Week 2

Monday - Have a backyard relay race
Tuesday - Race around the neighborhood (kids get a headstart)
Wednesday - Take a class at the local gym
Thursday - Hike or go for a brisk walk
Friday -Set up an obstacle course: hop scotch, push-ups, crunches & jumping jacks

Once you've exhausted your own ideas, speak with a certified fitness professional to help you take the next step. unbranded version attached...

Done with the Intermediate workout? Move on to Advanced.

This content was provided by American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the world's largest sports medicine and exercise
science organization and proud content provider for NBA FIT