Exercise Disguised as Family Fun

Written by Fitness trainer, Lori Forrester.

On one of those rare perfect weather days, I knew I had to have a plan or else my family would disperse since we had no sports or other mandatory events to attend. Let me first tell you that the Forresters are not outdoorsy people! We just aren’t. We are also not a family that works out together. When I workout on the weekends it’s usually at the gym or in my home gym in the basement. And the rest of the family… well, they just don’t.

I’m not so sure how it happened, but our go-to entertainment has been going to or renting movies or going out to eat. Frankly it never occurs to us to work in our yard (too much work) or just find a trail somewhere and explore nature. Don’t get me wrong, we have talked about it in the past, but we’ve never made a plan and followed through.

So this particular Sunday I had researched a couple nearby hiking trails and decided this was our plan. I asked on Facebook, which would be better for beginners and of imagescourse all my outdoorsy friends came through for me. I chose Red Top Mountain State Park in Cartersville because it is scenic, less steep, and only a half-hour from home. We also recruited some good friends and their daughter to go with us.

To be perfectly honest, I am not that into nature. I want to be — and I’m working on that — but my real motivation here was to get my family moving and rethinking what exercise looks like. Of course, I positioned it as family fun. It worked like a charm. We laughed and cut up while we trekked up the hills and stopped a couple of times to admire the scenery or to get some water.

We ended up hiking about six miles and everyone was happy. I have to brag on my family because there was not one complaint the entire time! This is a miracle! The trails were beautiful. The views of Lake Allatoona were awesome. We stopped for snacks, so we were all just content as can be. The girls even got a popsicle after! Everyone who worked there was helpful, friendly, and made us newbies feel welcome. We will be going back for sure!

Family-hiking-in-woods2The next day when the muscles in our legs were beginning to tighten up a little, my husband says to me, “That really didn’t feel like a stroll along a trail. That was more like exercise.” I think he’s on to my grand plan…

If you’ve been trying to figure out how to get your family moving together, I would highly suggest exploring our state parks. You might just discover you love the outdoors and like each other more too!

You have to be sneaky and make your spouse think it’s his idea though. My favorite quote EVER from a movie is from My Big Fat Greek Wedding: “Let me tell you something, Toula. The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants.” YEP! Get out and move!

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