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  • Amy Sotis

Run. Hike. Plank. Ski. Wrestle. Swim. Climb. Jump. Skate. Are you tired yet?

Overcoming inertia toward a couch and moving your body daily may seem like a given to you OR it may seem like an impossible task. I have no idea where you are coming from, but I'm aiming to provide a spark toward getting you more active this spring/summer. The following is a list of actual activities myself, my husband, or one of my three sons have done in the past couple of years. Whether you have a lot of energy or a little, I promise that you'll be tired by the time you finish this list! No one needs to be reminded that exercise is an integral part of your health - its just a matter of finding things you actually enjoy doing. If you feel that exercise is a burden, you won't be in it for the long-haul with consistency. Enlist your family members or go by yourself - find what you love to do by trying something new! Parents and kids can exercise and be active together. Patiently ignore the naysayers and keep your attitude positive and the kids just might follow in your footsteps. If you act like its normal to do push-ups at the playground instead of sitting on the bench looking at your phone, then your kids will too!

Here are 80 ideas for you to consider...

(all images copyright Luminaries Retreat, LLC and may not be used without our express permission. All parties pictured have given consent to be on our website only).


Hiking at Interstate Park

Biking with Friends

Planking Challenges

(who can hold the plank position the longest)


Skate Parks


"Drop Down and Give Me 20"

Random Indoor Pushups


Hula Hooping



Road Biking

Birthday Push-ups (# of years old = # of push-ups)

Pictured here is my husband's 41 birthday push-ups while at a park with friends

Birthday Pushups

Ninja Warrior "course" in the basement if the weather is bad

Ninja Warrior "course" at the park if the weather is good

(let the kids make their own course and then join them and time yourselves)

Playing at the Park

Triathlon (traditional): Swim, Bike, Run


Road Biking for a Date

Triathlon (adventure): Bike, Kayak, Run

Kids version and Adults version

Adventure Triathlon

Soccer Tournaments

Treadmill for a Cold Day


Fat-tire Snow Biking

Weight-lifting with Unusual Items

Rock Climbing

Waterpark Play

Arm Wrestling Competition at Birthday Parties or Kids Sleepovers

Obstacle Course 5K Race


Polar Plunge (jumping in to an almost-frozen lake)

Polar Plunge

Family Fitness Races (Wheelbarrow, Three-legged race, Lunge-walking, etc)

Special-event Bootcamp Workouts at the Fitness Center (Thanksgiving, New Year's, etc)

Rock Climbing Walls

Kids Running Race

5K Race


(good, old-fashioned, inexpensive exercise)

5K Race as a Family

10 Mile Race

1/2 Marathon


1st Ever Marathon at age 40, Twin Cities Marathon

Twin Cities Marathon

Join a Sports Team (Cross Country, Basketball, Track, Soccer, Baseball)

When your child needs to practice, put your heart into it and consider it quality time and workout time

Swimming at a Friend's Pool

Lake Sports with a Boat



Can We Go Down There, PLEASE??

Swinging with your Kids (not just watching them)

Swimming Pool

Yard Work

Kids Bike Race


Running Sprints at the School Track

Pull-ups at the Playground

(Monkey Bars are also very useful for upper-body strength)

Never underestimate TEAMWORK to get the job done!

Kayaking on a Lake or in a River

Nerf Gun Wars in the Yard

Birthday Party Bootcamp

Birthday Party

Yoga in a park (walking by on vacation and I just joined in)

Puppy Chase

(Unintentional workouts are good too, and yes, I really mean chasing after the runaway puppy)

Climbing UP a Waterfall

Running or Walking Steps

(when you're the smallest, sometimes its tough to keep up)


Stand-up Paddleboarding

Impromtu Pilates Workout in between Basketball Games

(yes, we did this in jeans...couldn't get the kids to join but they watched!)



Trail Running

Rock Climbing

Climbing and Jumping from *Small* Rocks on Hikes

Service Projects

Crate Stacking


Headstands with Friends



Water Skiing/Wakeboarding

Horseback Riding


Blow-up Outdoor Waterslides

Biking Tour on Vacation

Beach Running on Vacation

Snow Tubing

Late-Spring Snowy Day Workout

Cross-country Skiing

Downhill Skiing

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

Snowmen Building with Friends

Tractor Tire Flipping in the Snow

Tractor Tire in Snow

Ice Climbing

Camp Shamineau Ice Climbing

Kids 1K Race

Parents on a Long Run, Kids Bike Next to Us

7K Race in Costume

You know, in every race, someone has to finish last. There is no shame in finishing last. At least you did it.

Last picture here, but certainly not least, is my Dad, finishing last in a local 5K race, pushing my youngest son in a stroller. 3 generations all participating in a race. None of us "won" the race, but we all WON!

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