There are numerous reasons to exercise with your kids. After all, a family that trains together stays healthy together! Exercise makes for great bonding time, provides health benefits for everyone, and sets healthy habits your children will practice for years to come. You do not have to be 5K runners or CrossFit athletes to enjoy the benefits of exercising with your children. These exercises can make being active a fun habit for the whole family!
Conventional workouts can be fun and beneficial for everyone. Resistance training for children can improve their strength, bone density, body composition, and cardiovascular fitness. While young children should avoid weights in their routine, there are many bodyweight exercises that family members of any age can enjoy.
Planks, push-ups, crunches, and wall squats are exercises you can do anytime, anywhere, at practically any age. Whether you are stuck inside due to inclement weather, or the kids are feeling stir crazy inside a hotel during a family vacation, these exercises are a great option to get moving in any small space. Weather permitting, you can exercise outside and get some fresh air, or even go to a local park for a change of scenery. For added fun, you can add an element of friendly competition. Which sibling can hold a plank the longest? How many push-ups can you do? Who can do the most crunches in a minute?
Family strolls and bike rides
Another approach that can be fun for the whole crew is to simply go for a family walk, or break out your bicycles for a breezy ride around the block. A stroll outside together can be a great way to enjoy each other’s company. You can use this as an opportunity to improve your cardiovascular health as a team, as well as a chance to catch up on each other’s days. Bring along the family dog for even more fun, and let everyone get some exercise while knocking out a daily chore.
Cleaning can be a dreaded task, so why not get creative, and use it as a fun family activity? Sock dunk, for example, is a cleaning game where the little ones can dunk clean, rolled-up socks into the laundry basket, or right into the dresser drawer. For older children, you can place the basket even higher or further away to increase the challenge.
A music freeze game is another fun way to work out and clean house. Everyone gets assigned an active chore like sweeping or vacuuming while upbeat music is played throughout the house. When the music stops, everyone freezes in place until the tunes start back up again.
For a fun competitive angle, break up the chores into similar-length tasks. Number them, and have each family member roll dice to determine their chore. Once all duties are assigned, set a stopwatch, and see who can get their chores done the quickest.
Obstacle courses can be assembled inside or outdoors with a little creativity. Spread out toys in a line to jump over them, crawl under the coffee table, then run zig-zag around objects down the hallway. If you can take it outdoors, you can incorporate balls, cones or sidewalk chalk as well. Not only can this help direct your children’s energy in a positive way, but you can also get them to help set up the course to stimulate their creativity, as well.
Additional household games
While there are certainly benefits to a regular strength and cardio training program, simply playing active games with your kids can be beneficial, too! Hopscotch, for example, can be played outside if you have chalk, but you can also use tile flooring for an indoor version. Another great game for creative exercise is “Simon Says.” Burn some energy and calories by incorporating active movements like jumping jacks, running around an object, or even conventional workout moves like push-ups or squats.
Everyone loves a good dance party. Put on some upbeat music and show off your best moves! Not only is this fun approach a great outlet for silliness, but it can also be an endorphin-releasing stress reliever after a long day. Get creative by adding in a theme like a disco night, and invite friends or neighbors over to keep the fun going.
Working out does not have to feel like a daunting task. If you struggle to find time to workout, involving your children can be the solution you need! You can look forward to spending some quality time together, while simultaneously working towards your fitness goals and overall health.
Since exercise is proven to improve sleep, your little one is more likely to drift off more easily at bedtime. Exercise will help you sleep better as well, and increase your energy level throughout the day. Improving muscle tone and reducing body fat are welcomed benefits, too, along with a healthier heart and lowered blood pressure.
Remember to take frequent breaks as needed, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Stay healthy while teaching your children the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and partner with a caring, compassionate family health center near you.
At ARcare, your health and your children’s health are important to us. Contact us today to request an appointment. Family medicine is our specialty, and we would love the opportunity to make your family’s health our priority as you take this journey together.