Celebrate Family Fit Lifestyle Month with these 7 Budget-Friendly Wellness Activities

Family in living room completing exercise activities.

The start of a new year is a great time to chart a course for you and your family to shed bad habits – and maybe a few pounds, too. Join us in celebrating Family Fit Lifestyle Month by following some of our tips to get healthier with wellness activities that won’t break the bank!

Being fit means more than the ability to do 50 crunches in one session. Think instead about all the aspects of your day-to-day life that impact how good (or bad) you feel. What you eat, how much rest you get, and how well you manage stress all play a part in your overall well-being. You and your family can improve all of these by engaging in wellness activities. Here are seven to get you started:

  1. Eat Healthier. A general guideline for healthy eating is to consume a mix of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. You can learn more at myplate.gov. About those vegetables, let’s bust the myth that only fresh vegetables deliver maximum nutritional value. The fact is, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, most frozen, fresh, and canned vegetables have the same nutritional value. Especially in the winter months when fresh produce can be a little pricier than in summer, frozen and canned fruits and veggies are the way to go.

    Although you can make healthy food choices when you dine out, you’re not protecting your wallet from the damages incurred with a restaurant meal. Cooking at home can be its own fun family wellness activity. Search for healthy recipes and enlist the kids to help grocery shop and prepare the meal. Check out our post for more tips on how to eat healthy on a budget.

  2. Balloon Volleyball. With a lot of imagination and a little cash outlay you can get you and your family moving. How about some balloon volleyball? It’s super inexpensive, and as kids of all ages try to keep the balloon afloat, they’ll get plenty of exercise – and laughs.

  3. Get Moving Stations. Designate spots around your home where you and your kids can jump and move safely. Make signs for different activities: jumping jacks, planks, crawling through tape/rope, and balancing activities, to name a few. Set a timer for each activity and take turns moving through the stations.

  4. Bowling. This activity ranks high as a family- and budget-friendly activity during the winter months. Kids of all ages can join in the fun. Skip the per game charge and instead opt for renting the lane for a couple of hours. The average cost is between $20 and $40. That may or may not include shoe rental, which might run around $6 per pair.

  5. Hiking. It’s not just for the warmer months. A walk in the woods with your kids is an inexpensive way to get some exercise while having fun. On your hike, you can play games like I Spy or a modified scavenger hunt. Keep the following in mind to keep safe:
    • Plan your hike so you have plenty of time to get back to your vehicle before dark.
    • Pack essentials like snacks and water- and keep hydrated!
    • Don't forget sunglasses and sunscreen.
    • Bring a first aid kit (including a lighter).
    • Know when to say when-even if you've only been out a short time, if you or your kids just aren't feeling it, head back to the car.

  6. Meditation. Managing your stress is just one health benefit of meditation. Others include lowering your blood pressure and improving your immune system. The best part is that these perks and many more are yours for free! And you don’t need to be in a candlelit room with soft music playing to reap the rewards.  

    The world-renowned Cleveland Clinic published a great post that outlines the benefits of meditation for kids. The pediatrician author Dr. Matthew Badgett does a deep dive into ways to tailor meditation to different ages, with the reassuring message that not all meditation requires sitting still! Hello, movement-based meditation!


  7. Rest Up. Along with meditation, this is one wellness activity that doesn’t cost you a dime. Simple things like going to bed at a consistent time and getting exercise can go a long way to improving sleep for adults and kids. For more, here are more suggestions from the CDC: Tips for Better Sleep | CDC.

These seven ideas should spark conversations with you and your kids about other ways you can adopt a family fit lifestyle. Numerous studies have shown that staying physically, emotionally, and financially well improves your health and your wealth. For more tips on getting fiscally fit, visit our WalletWorks page for free resources, including our Online Learning Center that gives you quick lessons on important topics like credit and budgeting, delivered on the go in three to five minutes!

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