Your kids have energy. Lots of it. Kids take up your time. Lot of it. You want to get in some exercise too. How do you fit it in? Whether your goal is to build fitness, tone muscle, lose weight, or just get moving to loosen up the kinks in your back and neck from sitting all day – fitting that exercise in when you have kids can be a little challenging at times.
But what if you could exercise as a family? Your kids can burn off their excess energy before bed. You can work toward your fitness goals. And you get the added bonus of spending quality time together, laughing and making memories.
Try these 10 ways to exercise as a family and make healthy living a fun habit:
It may sound simple, but just heading out to the backyard or a nearby park with a soccer ball, a frisbee, or just the intention to have some fun can give you and the kids a great workout. Playing tag, throwing and catching balls or Frisbees, somersaults, swings and slides can all give a great cardio workout while also giving kids opportunities for important physical literacy development.
Go for an after-dinner walk and see what you can discover. This can be fun for even the youngest of toddlers. Check out some ways to make a family walk fun here.
Hit the trails on a family bike ride. Convoy around your city’s bike paths and take rest stops at newly discovered playgrounds for games of tag or even monkey bar pull-ups. Find tips on bicycle safety here.
Create obstacle courses inside or outside with tasks that each family member must complete before moving on. Hopscotch, 2 basketball baskets, 5 push ups, 10 burpees, 20 jumping jacks, 15 seconds balancing on one foot – a lot of exercises can be incorporated into a fun game that everyone can play.
Turn your kids into free weights like this dad. It’s fun for them and an even tougher workout for you –real weights don’t giggle and squirm.
If your kids are older and interested, why not train together for a 5K or 10K race? Lots of charities plan fundraising funs and this can turn into a great bonding time for parent and child while also being a positive learning opportunity about hard work and helping others.
Allow each family member to pick an exercise such as 10 jumping jacks, 20 crunches, or 6 flights of stairs that each person will try to do every day for the competition timeframe. You can create a fun chart to track everyone’s totals. Don’t forget to agree on a prize beforehand!
Turn birthdays into activity-focused adventures instead of stuff. Go to the zoo, go skiing or tobogganing, try a new sport, go for a hike or a canoe ride. The gift will last a lot longer as – and the adventure will include everyone.
Get Your Groove On
Crank up your favourite tunes and take turns teaching each other your best (or craziest) dance moves.
Have a favourite family TV show? Make it into a workout with jumping jacks, push-ups or running in place during the commercial breaks. Or, if you record or watch on Netflix, make the show your workout guide. Every time character A cooks or character B laughs, do 10 push-ups. Every time the theme song plays, do 20 jumping jacks. You can find lots of guides online for various TV shows, or make up your own.
How do you exercise with your family?
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