A family that plays together stays together. This may sound cliché, but family sports have multiple advantages. Men bond better by doing activities together, so joint sports will help the men in your family bond with each other, and as a sister daughter, or mother, playing with them will help you get closer.
At the physical level, it burns out the energy of little ones, making them less of a struggle to put to bed. For teens, it channels their potentially aggressive strength in a positive manner, and it can teach them discipline too. Plus, sports improve health, mood, and well-being all round, so it’s advocated by doctors and medical professionals. Let’s look at a few sporting activities your spouse, parents, kids, and siblings can get involved in.
Australia is surrounded by ocean on all sides, and we also have a vast network of rivers, lakes, and swimming pools. We are known for producing champion swimmers and for pioneering swimming pool technology, so swimming seems like a natural choice.
Whether it’s an affordable above-ground pool, a man-made salt-water lagoon, or a public water park, it can be fun for everyone. Kids can play in waterslides or splash in the baby pool while more serious swimmers can dive and do laps.
Parents could choose to bask in the sun and wiggle their feet in shallow water as they watch their little ones. You could also play water games like polo, volleyball, or diving for treasure, where shiny coins and trinkets are tossed into the pool and retrieved.
At its most basic, boxing is a good way to defend yourself, so any dad or brother would want his daughter or sister to get good at it. For teenagers, it can redirect the angst that often gets them into fights, cordoning it with scheduled training and discipline.
Boxing offers a full body workout, so it’s a good form of cardio, especially if you incorporate strength training and aerobic work that many boxes do as part of their regime. It encourages healthy competition through tournaments, so it can be a good way to build up self-esteem.
Little kids as young as 4 can start to learn correct form in boxing, and even grandparents can benefit from strengthening their core and improving their posture. They may not have as much power in their punch, but the overall toning will be good for their bones.
Outdoor rock-climbing is a bit of an adrenal sport and involves scaling cliffs and abseiling. This requires an intense fitness level and a daredevil spirit, so it’s not exactly PG-rated. However, indoor rock-climbing can be a good family activity.
Climbing walls have varying levels of complexity. It could be anything from a few feet high on an outdoor modular play set, or several stories in a commercial complex. Climbers have guides and assistants to help them along, and wear a safety harness at all times.
In some cases, there is a safety net at the bottom of the wall. It’s suitable for all ages, and the fun, friendly atmosphere is inviting. Seeing other kids and elders on the wall encourages your family to try it out, and the ambience is warm and welcoming, even if it’s sweaty.
Whether you’re thinking about soccer, standard rugger, or Aussie rules, football is a good option for the family. Depending on how sporty your family is, you could play a serious game that follows the rules, or you could just run around kicking and tossing the ball into the opponent’s goal. Family football can be a light way to get everyone working up a sweat.
Smaller kids probably won’t be concerned with regulations. They just want to move around and have some kind of contact with the ball. Teens might be interested if it’s in good fun, but a regulated game could be awkward if they have begun to sprout body image issues. The same could apply to mums who aren’t as fit and trim as they’d like.
For this reason, family football games should have as few restrictions as possible. Divide into teams, assign goals, pick opposing goalies, and play. If some family members would rather be the cheering squad or prepare refreshments, than that’s cool too.