7 Fun Ways to Exercise as a Family

7 Fun Ways to Exercise as a Family

Exercising as a family is super important. Not only do you get to spend extra time together as a family, but you get healthier as a family. If you’re new to family exercising or just wanting some new ideas, check out these fun ways to exercise as a family.

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How to Make Your Own Hula Hoop

Okay, it’s confession time guys!  I’ve really been looking forward to the Brandcation blogging conference next weekend at Portofino Island and all the planned activities including the Blogger Olympics and an exciting day at Adventures Unlimited.  Well I just recently found out that there will be a hula hoop competition and while I’m not averse to making a fool of myself in public, especially with a group of other participants, I’m not really willing to put the evidence on YouTube so I bought a hula hoop and started to practice.

I figured that I’d have plenty of time to master the hoop and this way I wouldn’t let my team down or risk making it onto the Today Show for a completely different reason than I had imagined!  I’m actually pretty embarrassed to admit that I tried for three days (not ALL day people!) and couldn’t get the hoop to go around more than three times in a row.

Refusing to give up (or miss the conference!) I went online in search of tips and found out that my $5 hoop was really “child sized” and would be the most difficult thing for an adult to learn with or use.  To determine the proper size you stand the hula hoop up on the ground and the top should reach somewhere between your waist and your chest.  The standard size for an adult is 42″ diameter, 36″ diameter for a small adult, and 32″ diameter for a child.

When I searched Amazon for fitness hoops (that’s what they call the adult version) they were $30 to $40 so I thought I’d make my own instead!  At Home Depot I bought a 25′ coil of 3/4″ 160 PSI PVC tubing, two 3/4″ nylon couplings (see connector pic below), and a roll of red duct tape for $26 – this was enough to make two hula hoops so they were $13 each.  I was so excited to try out my new hoop and I’m thrilled to report that the difference is amazing! (on a side note, my abs really hurt today!)

I watched this video to learn some hoop techniques and the two sisters who do the videos are incredibly fit and the hoop is so much fun that I believe I’ve found my new workout!  It’s definitely not easy which makes it an exciting workout, and it’s good for all your parts since you’re moving your hips and legs and holding your arms up at the same time.

How to Make Your Own Hula Hoop

Materials Needed:

  • 3/4″ irrigation tubing (120 to 160 PSI for adults, 100 PSI for kids)
    • 42″ Adult – 11′ length tube
    • 36″ Adult – 10′ length tube
    • 32″ Child – 8′ 4 1/2″ length tube
  • 3/4″ nylon coupling
  • Duct tape or electrical tape in color of choice

Use a PVC cutter or handsaw to cut the tubing to the desired length and insert the coupling into both ends.  If it is a tight fit then run the ends of the tube under hot water to soften before inserting the coupling.

Place a 3″ to 4″ length of duct tape around the coupled area to hold securely in place.  To finish the hoop, decorate it and give it a good weight wrap tape all the way around the hoop on the diagonal.

Indoor Bike Exercise Stand Just $65 Shipped!

I've been trying to drop a couple winter pounds and get more toned for bathing suit weather so I was really interested when I saw this deal! You can use this Magnetic Steel Bicycle Indoor Exercise Trainer Stand to get some great exercise indoors no matter what the weather is like and without a great deal of expense.  Use your own bicycle with this trainer stand and you'll have an indoor cycling trainer but you won't have to shell out a lot for exercise equipment.  This stand regularly retails for $147, but you can grab yours now for just $65 plus free shipping!  The unit uses magnetic resistance so as you pedal the internal magnet creates resistance, with 5 levels of resistance that you can change right from your handle bars.

(All posts may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.)

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Shopping Strategies for Fitness


Last month, I applied to be the next Mamavation Mom. Mamavation is a program created by Bookie Boo that offers women support & encouragement with their weight loss goals. On Monday, two moms will be selected to lead the way in an eight-week virtual bootcamp, with all the tools they’ll need to be successful. Part of the application process required me to jump in and start living a healthier life. 

I gave up soda. I cut back on snacking. And, I began a fitness routine, led by Fit Mom in Training. I’ve made it to the final round (and could use your vote!), going from total couch potato to muscled mama. Granted, they’re tiny muscles, but I’ve come a long way in just three weeks! Since I prefer to keep it frugal, I’ve mostly gotten started with free workouts at home. I have, however, needed a few things along the way. Here are my favorite strategies for keeping it in the budget: 

  • Consider Alternatives – Before you make a purchase, see if you have something at home that will do the trick. I used canned goods from my grocery stockpile as hand weights for the first week or so. I also walk the house or steps in absence of a treadmill. And, I use one of the girls’ jump ropes instead of buying something for myself.
  • Buy UsedFitness equipment gets donated a lot! People buy it with the best of intentions, only to get rid of it down the road, when it becomes a dust collector. Check Goodwill, Craigslist, yard sales and Play It Again Sports for deals on fitness & sporting goods.
  • Daily Deals – I’m currently enrolled in a Zumba class paid for with a recent Eversave deal! I’ve also seen gym memberships & fitness classes on Groupon, Living Social and other daily deal sites. Subscribe to the email for your area, and wait for a deal near you.
  • Make a List – Start with a wishlist of items you’d like to have for your fitness goals. Then, approach any purchases the same way you would with groceries. Check the ads each week and wait for the next sale.
  • Find Freebies – The best deal is always FREE! Check the library for free fitness DVDs. Ask friends if they have unwanted equipment. And, don’t forget about Freecycle or the free section on Craigslist!

I’ve spent almost nothing on my new fitness regimen so far, but I have lost a few pounds, built some actual muscles and dropped almost a full pants size. I can’t wait to see where it takes me next! 

Will you please support my fitness journey with a quick vote

About the Author:  Heather Sokol is the married mother of three girls. In between carpool, grocery shopping and her new fitness routine, she shares miscellaneous mom secrets and her tricks for living inexpensively

Photo Credit:  iClipart

Free Workout Mix Vol 2 from Subway and Biggest Loser

Download The Biggest Loser and SUBWAY® Workout Mix Vol. 2 for FREE!  It includes all of these hot songs –

  • Telephone by Lady Gaga
  • In My Head by Jason Derulo
  • Revolver by Madonna
  • Empire State of Mind by Jay Z Feat. Alicia Keys
  • Hard by Rihanna
  • Bulletproof by La Roux
  • Hey Soul Sister by Train
  • Blah Blah Blah by Ke$ha
  • According To You by Orianthi
  • Whataya Want From Me by Adam Lambert
  • Russian Roulette by Rihanna
  • Need You Now by Lady Antebellum

I’ll be adding these to my MP3 player to listen to while walking on the treadmill!  (yes honey – I’m planning to get back up on the walker!)