Getting Healthy Together: The Best Sports Activities For Family Fitness

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boygirlplayvectorIt is amazing how many sports fans enjoy their favorite pastime from a distance. Their only contact with sports is to watch it on TV from the comfort of a couch or recliner, while eating snacks with no nutritional value. In other words, an activity that requires the epitome of health and fitness is enjoyed by people doing everything to decrease their own health and fitness.

Don’t let this happen to you, or any other member of your family. There are other ways to enjoy your favorite sports:


Weekend golfing doesn’t really meet that criteria. It pushes the definition of doing something together. One person swings while everyone else watches. It is also slow and expensive. It is a hobby usually suited to a single person.

Chess is another excellent sport. And yes, it is a sport. Unfortunately, only two can play. It is turn-based, slow, and let’s face it, no one ever lost weight or became more fit playing chess. But don’t worry; there are plenty of sports that are both fun to watch and to do. Here are my top three:


The only thing better than watching Wimbledon on Independence Day is getting out there and playing it… and the barbecue. Tennis is a fast-paced game with plenty of built-in breaks for catching one’s breath. It can be played and enjoyed at all skill levels. You need at least two players. But you can have up to four on the court at one time. Because balls have to constantly be retrieved, there is plenty of activity for those not playing at the time.

The only thing you need to get started is a tennis racket for each player, lots of tennis balls, and a tennis court on which to play. There are always tennis courts to be found, usually for free use. You can pay for time on the nicer ones for a small fee. Unlike golf, tennis can be played without cashing out an IRA. If you are an enthusiast wanting to outfit your own backyard with the latest tennis court equipment, check out the latest accessories online. Otherwise, if all you need are some rackets and a cool headband, any department store will do.


basketballvectorThere is no category of people who do not enjoy basketball on some level. There is even a National Wheelchair Basketball Association. Yes, there are people who play basketball with no legs. Being shorter than 6’7” is not a barrier to entry. Men, women, girls, and boys of all ages, sizes, and skill level can find some variation of basketball that works for them.

It is usually played at a frenetic pace that challenges even the most fit among us. Even those little ones you can hardly keep up with during the day will be huffing and puffing after a few minutes of round ball. Once you play for a while, you will come to appreciate the mad skills of the ones who make it look easy on TV.


If you have had enough of chasing balls on courts, put on the grippy shoes and go for a long walk. Hiking is a legitimate sport, though it doesn’t feature prominently on TV. That is because it is a sport that is only worth doing, not watching. There is no special equipment to buy or maintain. There is no particular place you have to do it. There is no wrong way to do it. The only advice I have to offer is don’t walk through a briar patch in short pants. Otherwise, just go for it. You can fly solo or bring the whole family, even the dog.

The great thing about all of these activities is that they are enjoyable when done together with people you love. They are very active and beneficial for health and fitness. And of course, their cheap. No investments in expensive equipment are required. No matter what sport you choose, it will help you appreciate it all the more when it is time to kick back and watch your favorite athlete.