Need a Fun, Family-Friendly Workout
November 18, 2015 4:49 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to get my family to stay active together during the winter. I was thinking about workout videos, but I'm not sure where to start.

My husband and I are both overweight and I'd like for us to start some beginner's level exercising at home, both for our health and to set a better example for our kid. It's about to get really cold here in the Midwest and we don't have a lot of time for the gym, so I thought a video might be a good start. I'd like something that didn't require us to buy equipment, just move around. I was thinking maybe yoga, though I know my husband would balk at anything too heavy on New Age overtones. Plus, I need to keep my kid interested.

We have Amazon Prime Instant Video and Netflix, so an option on those would be or on YouTube would be great. But a popular DVD we might find at the library or box store, or maybe something we could order online could also work.

I'm not looking for dramatic weight loss or amazing new skills. We need to move around together! What's fun and not too difficult?
posted by Comrade Doll to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Fit Family Circuit and Yoga for Families are both available on Amazon, for reasonable prices, and with good ratings.
posted by bearwife at 4:53 PM on November 18, 2015

Depending on your budget, you might consider a Wii U, or even a used original Wii, and some fitness games: Wii Fit, Wii Sports, EA Sports Active, Walk It Out, and of course Just Dance are all great. There are some Zumba and yoga things, too. There's a lot of fun possibilities there that would engage all of you and get you moving. And gamification helps many of us stick with it.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:02 PM on November 18, 2015 [7 favorites]

Sometimes my husband and I dance around following Just Dance songs on Youtube. You won't get scored for your moves but you will work up a sweat, and it's very very fun!
posted by Syllables at 5:03 PM on November 18, 2015

I am vaguely evangelical about Fitness Blender. Daniel and Kelli are a husband-and-wife team (with occasional help from puppy Loki) who post free fitness videos on YouTube. You can pay some money to purchase a workout program where they tell you which video to do every day, or you can search for videos and make up your own program. A lot of their exercises use dumbbells, but you can search for "no equipment" under equipment to get the ones that just use your bodyweight.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:07 PM on November 18, 2015 [4 favorites]

Zumba might be a pretty good option - I have a coworker who swears by it and she used to be a Sunday school teacher so it meets the family friendly mark. It also seems to switch things up pretty often so you don't get into the "and now downwards dog/sun salute" yoga thing.

Plus it's popular at the moment so there should be plenty of options for library/amazon/whatever and I don't think you need anything except a body to move around and probably sensible shoes.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 6:21 PM on November 18, 2015

I love the Ali MacGraw yoga video - the scenery is great, the music is fine, it shows all kinds of people - color and ages - so that is nice and you can do just a couple poses or the whole workout which is a real challenge. Or you can just do the relaxation part.
posted by cda at 6:39 PM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Crazy idea - get a dog. You all walk the dog after dinner every night.

Less crazy idea - all of you get to search for exercise videos on YouTube to try and you rotate who gets to pick which one. It's old school but I remember enjoying tae bo with Billy Blanks.

I know you said you don't have time for the gym per se but I think you should try to do something outside the house once a week - bowling, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, hiking, go to one of those places with indoor trampolines, have fun. If you're having fun, you're more likely to stick with it.
posted by kat518 at 6:42 PM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

My wife and I do Mark Lauren's You Are Your Own Gym videos.

It's bodyweight and cardio, no equipment. It is designed for adults, but an adolescent could handle it.

It is fairly intense, maybe more so than you want here. If you are out of shape (like we were) even the novice workouts will take some practice before you can keep up with them. You will sweat and be out of breath by the end of the workout. For whatever reason, it seems easy to stick with, we've stuck with it for a couple years now.

Looks like there's some samples on YouTube, check those out if it sounds interesting.
posted by mattu at 7:29 PM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Aw yeah, +1 for ice skating! I have fond memories of doing that with my family, growing up. I think it's probably still possible to rent skates. (You can also rent gear for downhill or cross-country skiing, if that's available and at all interesting. Fast things are definitely fun…)

Indoors: +1 for games. Any kind of ball game (maybe dodgeball?). You could probably get a second-hand table tennis setup cheaply on craigslist or eBay, that burns tons of calories. There's also hula hooping, not a game but funniish (though it doesn't burn that many calories, so wouldn't rely heavily on that for a burn). Dancing - Zumba videos, or just putting on some music and having fun. Horsing around.
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:38 PM on November 18, 2015

Fully love Yoga with Adriene, she posts free videos and has a really chill, a little quirky, and practical approach to teaching yoga. Her 30 day yoga set is fun and beginner friendly.

Also darebee is a really awesome free resource packed with different workouts. They have 30 to 60 day programs starting from very light foundation building. No equipment needed for the majority of stuff as far as ive seen. They also offer diet plans and videos on YouTube if you're not sure how to do a specific move. I can't afford a gym membership right now and this site has been a life saver.

I know you said indoors type things, but I can't not help but recommend jogging or power walking if you're looking to get some basic cardio in with the added bonus of seeing wilderness, which at least for me does wonders for my soul meats and energy levels. it's also a great way to connect with your walking buddy in a really natural, old school way

and I feel a little unsure for adding this last thing (if it's off topic), but I read this article recently and it's pretty cool info if one of your goals is weight loss.
posted by speakeasy at 3:04 AM on November 20, 2015

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