The summer holidays have begun here in Portugal and with a 6 yr old plus teenagers at home, there is no chance of mummy escaping for a nice long run.

If you don’t have a lot of extra time on your hands carving out an hour or two to go to the gym can be hard. There is always something else that takes priority, family, work or chores that, need attention. For the next two months, exercising is going to have to be a family affair.

Ok, hear me out, I’m not suggesting popping the little darlings on the weights bench. I’m suggesting some good fun, child-friendly activities that will get the muscles working and the blood pumping. Hopefully, if I model a healthy lifestyle which includes regular exercise then the children will learn great habits.

The ideas below are to give you a bit of a jump start if you’re not sure how to get the whole family up and at ’em.

Go For a Walk

Choose a time that’s easy for you to add to your regular schedule such as a Sunday morning, or after dinner each evening. Your route doesn’t have to be miles you just have to get in the habit of going.

Maybe you can only fit in a 20-minute walk around the neighbourhood, let your kids puck the route or even let them take charge of your watch to keep an eye on the timings.

Walking and talking gets you up out of your chair or away from your screens which is healthy for both your body and mind. The evening stroll is also a chance to catch up with your family and chat about your day.

Play Garden Games

Even if half your week is spent driving your kids to sports training or fixtures I bet they’ll still be happy when you offer to have a kick about in the garden or local park.

If you have a wide range of ages to keep happy play in teams with the older ones helping out the younger members. You could try hula hooping, create obstacle courses with water you have lying around, or have a mini-game of touch rugby.

If it’s hot get out some water pistols and water balloons and play chase and soak. If you’re playing when its cold trying racing in timed laps to keep warm.

Workout Videos on Youtube

Whatever age you are and however much space you have available there is a free fitness video on YouTube that suits you. Take it in turns to choose a workout you like the look of at whatever time suits you.

Older children might like the look of a high tempo workout to music and it’s easy to find household items to use as weights. There are lots of ten-minute videos that use your own body weight as resistance and which are designed for the office or home. You can burn calories and get stronger while enjoying time with your family.

Tempt smaller kids with a yoga video, you could even use it as a window activity before bath and bedtime. There are some great beginners yoga, or yoga for kids videos which guide you gently through the poses.

Dance Party

If you have access to a smart speaker, a phone with a playlist or even a cd player you can work up a sweat bopping in your living room.

Choose some upbeat music, turn it up and really go for it! You could wow your kids with your fresh moves (or maybe they’ll laugh at your ‘dad dancing’). Your children can teach you endless moves from Fortnite, or the lasted music videos.

Make the dancing into a competition or a dance-off, or go retro with a game of musical statues. You’ll be moving and shaking so much that none of you will realise that you’re doing a great cardiovascular workout.

A Balancing Act

You need to keep healthy by eating right and by adopting a healthy lifestyle. If you have the time to go to the gym and fitness classes that us fabulous, but remember to incorporate exercise into your daily routines too.

Your family will love spending time with you ‘playing’, and all of the activities suggested will get you up on your feet keeping your body and mind healthy.