A woman and a girl in an outdoor swimming pool, both smiling.
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10 outdoor family fitness activities

The sun is shining, so you and your family head outside. And… now what? While simply being in the great outdoors is enjoyable – particularly if you’re used to the keeps-you-on-your-toes British weather – chances are your kids will need an activity to keep them entertained. That’s particularly true during the school holidays, when expectations of fun are sky-high.

If you can find an activity that helps everyone get some exercise, all the better. According to NHS guidelines, children and young people age 5-18 should try for an average of at least 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous activity a day, incorporating both aerobic and strengthening exercises.

We’ve rounded up 10 activities that involve both fitness and fun, from next-level walks to aquatic adventures. The best part? These are all activities children and adults can do together, so you can combine the benefits of fresh air and exercise with some meaningful quality time as a family.

1. Pickleball and Padel

Tennis is a fabulous sport to enjoy outdoors as a family, but it can take a while to master the basics. For a racquets sport everyone can learn quickly, try Pickleball or Padel.

As well as being easy to pick up, these games are played on smaller courts than tennis and with lighter racquets, making them particularly child-friendly.

Still need persuading? Padel and Pickleball are, quite simply, incredibly fun! If you’re looking for a good time together on the courts, these games are well worth a try.

2. Walking

A family walking hand-in-hand across a field.

Walking is one of the best free activities you can do as a family, with plenty of health benefits for all ages.

If the idea of a walk isn’t met with wild enthusiasm by your kids, check out our guide to walking more as a family, with ideas for how to make it more exciting.

3. Treasure hunt

In fact, here’s another way to take a walk to the next level: turn it into a treasure hunt. Whether you set up your own, book a professionally organised treasure hunt or try something like geocaching, there’s nothing quite like having a goal (and, potentially, prizes!) to get kids moving.

4. Garden games

Colourful croquet mallets and balls lying on green grass.

Does your family have a competitive streak? Set up an outdoor tournament using your favourite garden games. You’ll find options to suit different ages and abilities, from classic quoits and croquet to garden skittles.

5. Aquatic activities

Swimming is great for kids and adults alike, combining an important life skill with health benefits aplenty. It’s a joint-friendly way to work out, so grandparents may want to join the fun if you’re heading to your local outdoor pool.

But it’s worth considering other water-based activities too. Paddleboarding, surfing and kayaking, for example, can be very enjoyable if your children are confident swimmers, and if you’re all learning for the first time together, even better!

6. Outdoor classes

A woman and a boy doing a Battlebox outdoor circuit training session at a David Lloyd Club.
A Rebels Battlebox class at David Lloyd Clubs

Look out for any exercise classes you can do as a family in the fresh air. At selected David Lloyd locations, for example, we offer a family-friendly version of our adults’ outdoor circuit training class. Suitable for children aged 8-13, Rebels Battlebox is a great way to get your cardio fix and boost your mood with a flood of endorphins.

7. Team sports

Gather a team of friends and family, and head to your nearest park for a day of fun! Rounders, five-a-side football, Frisbee and Capture the Flag are all good options to encourage teamwork and camaraderie.

Make it extra-special by packing a delicious picnic to enjoy after all that running round.

8. Gardening

A hand holding an unpotted lavender plant.

You may be surprised at just how good a form of exercise gardening can be – after all, you use all the major muscle groups while you’re weeding and digging. What’s more, you get the mental health benefits of spending time in nature, and you might just inspire your kids to have a life-long love of caring for the natural world.

9. Skipping

Dust off your old playground skills and show your kids how it’s done. (You may want to brush up your knowledge on YouTube and TikTok if it’s been a while.) Once everyone is happy with basic skipping, you can introduce some jump rope games.

10. Zip lining

A child mid-air on a zip line.

Find your nearest aerial adventure park and take to the skies. Zip lining involves sliding along cables strung up high – don’t worry, you’ll be safely attached – giving you the sensation of flying. It’s not the most challenging cardio workout, but it can help build upper body strength and it’ll get everyone moving, with the bonus of an adrenalin rush. This is one for older kids, as most parks will have minimum ages for participation.

There’s plenty of scope for outdoor activities when you’re a member of David Lloyd Clubs. Most of our clubs have outdoor space where families can enjoy quality time in the fresh air, whether that’s tennis, Padel and pickleball courts, swimming pools or play areas – or a combination of all of those!

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