Dad playing baseball in backyard with kids

Make Active Living a Priority to Improve Family Fitness

Staying fit is part of the military lifestyle, but that doesn't mean it's easy. If you’re struggling to embrace an active lifestyle, remember there are lots of choices out there. From group gym classes, to putting the baby in the stroller for a walk, to hitting the links or joining a ski club —there are so many ways to get started.

Morale, Welfare and Recreation is a great resource for community activities that can help you get moving. Contact your installation's MWR to find fitness classes, sports teams, golf courses, outdoor recreation programs and equipment, and more.

Families that walk together, talk together

Make fitness and active living a part of your regular family life. Here are some tips for working more activity into your day:

Cut out the screen time. The next time you want to spend quality time with your spouse, children, or even friends — don't plan to sit down in front of the TV or computer. Instead, head out for a walk, go bowling or host a dance party in your kitchen. For more formal activities, you can search for family excursions through your installation's Information Tickets and Travel office.

Swapping your daily screen time for exercise can help more than your waist line — it can improve family communication, boost your mood and teach your children good habits that will last a lifetime.

Take the little ones outside. Even if you have very young children, you don't have to choose between spending time with them and being active. Consider investing in a jogging stroller, hiking with a baby carrier or finding a parent and baby fitness class. If your child is a bit older, consider going for a bike ride, swimming or renting sports equipment from your MWR facility.

Meet your fitness goals with these fitness tips

Hit the gym. If structured gym time is what you need to meet your goals, head to your installation’s fitness center. Most have circuit training, free weights and a variety of classes from high-intensity aerobic workouts to relaxing yoga.

Find a workout partner. A workout partner is one of the best ways to ensure you stick to your fitness plan. A partner can make it harder to skip workouts, help you clarify your goals and push you to the next level.

Take a class. Similarly, fitness classes offer a supporting team atmosphere, create a sense of accountability and help you break out of your everyday routine.

Get a coach. If you want to get a start on your own fitness or health program, look into the Military OneSource Health and Wellness Coaching Program. This free resource can offer you support in weight management, fitness, nutrition, stress management and more.

You can meet with your coach by telephone, online chat or video chat. To get started, call 800-342-9647 and a Military OneSource consultant will register you and schedule your first session right away. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options.