Trying to fit an exercise into your already busy day can be tough. Balancing the responsibilities of being a parent can be even tougher. However, having kids doesn’t mean giving up on your fitness. In fact, exercising with your kids will strengthen the family bond and set a good example of how physical activity is important for a healthy body and mind. Below are 7 great exercises with your kids you can practice anytime, anywhere.
Exercise can be fun! I’ve written before about staying fit with kids and when you incorporate exercises with your children it can be a blast. If your kids are glued to their screens in the evening, make a rule to take activity breaks. Maria Chatman from the Mind Body Green Blog suggests that for every hour of screen time your family spends to take a 10-minute “activity timeout”.
If you feel like an exercise is too difficult for your child, take a break and try a different one. There are lots of opportunities to incorporate exercises that are fun for your child and a heart-raising workout for you. The duration and intensity of your workouts are at your discretion. The key is to be consistent, and before you know it, you will be on your way to establishing lifelong healthy habits for you and your family.
These are usually the first exercise we are introduced to, so it makes perfect sense to do this work out with your little one. Yet, depending on the age of your child, a proper push-up form can be difficult. Several muscles in the chest, shoulders, triceps, and neck all have to work together to perform this exercise in its proper form. The Keeping Kids in Motion blog does a great job of introducing kids to several varieties of push-ups that is well worth the read.
This is another classic that helps you strengthen and firm your stomach. Feel free to tuck your toes under the sofa or coffee table if you need a bit of support, or ask your kids to hold your feet and vice versa.
Start by standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width, toes turned slightly out. Bend your knees and push your hips back to lower into a squat. Your kids may hate this exercise (like most adults), or they may like the challenge. Either way, it’s a nice glute workout and great for exercises with your kids.
Get into a push-up position and then alternate bringing your knee to your elbow. The idea is to move fast and work up a sweat. This is a great exercise for many muscles in the upper and lower body.
Here’s a quick video outlining the correct form for kids: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Uc7KcVC-Ao
My child loves this exercise! Stand tall and then explosively jump into the air, expanding your legs and arms so that you look like a large “X” in the air. Repeat this motion with a quick rhythm.
The how-to video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKspr9iRdnY
Who’s up for the challenge? This is a great exercise to get you and your child’s heart rate going. Start out in a low squat position with your hands on the floor. Next, jump your feet back to a push-up position, complete one push-up and then jump back up. It should be one fluid motion and no pause between repetitions.
The how-to video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CputWeUFUbM
If you’ve performed all 7 exercises with your kids, then chances are they have immediately less energy than they did before. Remember, these activities only take a few minutes so the key is consistency. The benefits for you and your family are countless.
If there’s an exercise that you recommend for your kids, I’d love to hear about it at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to sign up below for our newsletter in order to receive great tips like these right to your inbox.