5 weekend family games to keep you fit

Playing with family or friends is a wonderful way to encourage healthy living and gives your body a workout without a gym session

Exercise can be a great way of catching up with friends on a weekend morning or spending time with your family. Try these easy outdoor games that’ll get you all moving.

1. Rounders

Less complicated than cricket or baseball, with rounders you simply set out four or five ‘bases’ in a circuit, then two teams take turns at batting and fielding. Hit the ball and run from base to base before the fielders catch you out or get the ball to the next base before you. Less able athletes can do runs base-by-base and fitter friends can break out for a home run – either way you notch up points, have a giggle and get some good exercise in. If a rounders bat makes it a little too difficult for younger ones to be able to hit the ball, why not use a tennis racket?

2. Volleyball

No need to book a special court, just put up a head-height net in the park or on the beach, split into two teams and hit the ball to each other using only your hands. If you don’t have a net, simply string up some rope or twine between two garden canes. You get three touches before it has to go back over the net so no one has to whack the ball too hard, just don’t let the ball bounce on the ground or you lose the point. Discover more fun games to play with kids on the beach using kit you already have in your beach bag.

3. Wacky races

Kids’ games can be a great way to exercise and promote overall health. In two teams, dream up silly races: relays stepping through hoops or passing a ball over your head then between the next person’s legs. If you’re inside, give each team a broom then do a relay race where each team has to ‘sweep’ a dust cloth around obstacles – harder than you think!

4. Back garden badminton

Even with a cheap play set of racquets and shuttlecocks, you can work up quite a sweat in your garden, batting to each other over an improvised net. The great thing about badminton is that you can go at any pace, to suit any skill and fitness level, young or old.

5. Time trails

Play scavenger hunt challenges where each person is timed as they run around the home, garden or park in search of hidden treasure or a list of random objects.

Super sporty or enthusiastic amateur? Whatever your level or sport you play, don’t miss our tips to up your game.