Like diet, it should be a four-letter word.
Tell anyone they need to get some exercise and images of sweating for hours at the gym sends shivers down their spine.
Or at least it does for me.
Which is why, with the weather improving and the nights getting lighter, I like to think of fun ways to get fitter and healthier. I prefer exercise where we don’t even realise we’re doing it.
Whether it’s a walk in the woods, or riding our bikes along the canal path near our home, it’s not seen as work, but fun.
My youngest favours a game of dodgeball in the back garden. Or sometimes we jump around on the trampoline. And you haven’t lived until you’ve used your jackets as bases for a game of rounders in the park.
My youngest son carries a bit of extra weight, but we’re tackling that with healthy eating and a conscious effort to exercise as much as possible. In the first three months of this new regime he’s lost 6lbs. I’m proud of him. And we’re continuing with our efforts, not just for him, but as a lifestyle change for all of us.
He’s only eight years old – and old habits meant no sooner had he finished dinner than he was asking “What’s for dessert?”
But the attraction of Spring and Summer evenings to get outside with his friends on his bike makes him focus less on food.
And signing him up for street dance classes has made him channel his energies into something fun which he is passionate about.
I’ve purchased a FitBit and, once I take it out of the box (!) I’m certain that challenging myself to take more steps every day will make a difference to my fitness levels, and have me wheezing much less when I run up the stairs.
Exercise works better when it’s a family pursuit. Like healthy eating, it doesn’t work well if you try it on your own.
Even on rainy days, we can bang on the Just Dance game on the WiiU and bounce around the living room, pretending to be Lady Gaga.
Exercising together has brought us closer. And I see my boys growing in confidence, the fitter they get.
It’s time to say farewell to the dark nights and approach the Summer with renewed energy. We’re trying our best.
How do you incorporate exercise into your family’s life? Any tips?