FAMILY FITNESS FUN: HOW TO EXERCISE WITH YOUR KIDS AND MAKE IT ENJOYABLE

3 min read

Introduction:
For parents of young kids, finding time for exercise can be a challenge. The constant demands for snacks, assistance with homework, and the never-ending energy of children can make it seem impossible to prioritize fitness. However, turning your workout into a family affair not only allows you to stay active but also models healthy habits for your children. Research indicates that kids with active parents are more likely to adopt an active lifestyle, setting the foundation for a healthy adulthood. In this guide, we explore creative ways to integrate your kids into your workout routine, making fitness a fun and collaborative family activity.

Getting Creative with Exercise:
When incorporating kids into your workout, it’s essential to let go of the idea of achieving a perfect workout. Kelly Bryant, a coach with the fitness app Future, suggests involving your children by giving them specific roles. Instead of searching for child-specific activities, opt for body-weight workouts that are inherently kid-friendly. Activities like squat jumps, lateral jumps, jump rope, ladder drills, and jumping jacks can be enjoyable for both you and your little ones. Turn these exercises into a partner workout, making it a shared experience.

Turning Exercise into a Game:
Transforming exercise into a game adds an element of fun for kids. Jess Sims, a Peloton instructor, recommends incorporating “listening games” where you increase your speed based on specific words in a song. For example, do jumping jacks to your child’s favorite song and assign a move for a particular phrase. Another engaging option is “exercise charades,” where family members take turns picking strength moves or yoga poses from a bowl. This interactive approach keeps kids entertained while staying active.

Play with Kids

Embrace Creativity and Playfulness:
Making exercise playful is key to keeping kids engaged. Marc Santa Maria from Crunch Fitness suggests turning sprints into a game by heading to a public tennis or basketball court with small, light items. Race your child to move the items from one end to the other, turning it into a friendly competition. Kids on bikes or scooters can act as pacers while you run alongside them, incorporating interval running and walking sessions. Be creative and make use of the outdoor environment for a dynamic and entertaining workout.

Utilize the Playground:
Take advantage of the playground as a versatile workout space. Begin with lateral shuffles around the perimeter for a warm-up. Then, use playground equipment for cardio, core, and upper and lower body exercises. For example, swings can be used for squats, monkey bars for pull-ups, benches for triceps dips, and stairs for step-ups. The playground provides an opportunity for a full-body workout while your child enjoys playtime.

Conclusion:
Incorporating your kids into your workout routine not only ensures you stay active but also creates lasting memories and healthy habits for your family. Whether you opt for creative exercises, turn workouts into games, or utilize the playground, the key is to make fitness enjoyable for everyone. Remember, any movement is great movement, so embrace the playful side of family fitness and make staying active a fun and collaborative experience.

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