If you are a parent, then you know there are many challenges to getting a good workout with younger children. It takes some creativity to get the exercise you need. You want to teach your kids to exercise by example. With a degree in Early Childhood Education and several years of childcare experience, I’ve learned that children enjoy mimicking their caregivers. Here are some ideas to get your workout in with kids.
1. Take your child for a stroll.
Babies and kids of all ages love going on a stroll. You don’t just have to walk or run with a stroller. You can also do lunges with the stroller. You can do squats in front of the stroller. There are stroller workouts and even stroller exercise classes. So get some fresh air!
2. Get a bike seat or trailer.
A lot of kids enjoy being in a bike trailer or bike seat. These don’t have to be expensive, as people are always selling them used. You can get a quality new child seat for less than $50. Biking with your children teaches them there are easy ways to get around that are also good for the environment and their health.
3. Make family time into active time.
Take a family walk or hike. Go to the park and actually climb around with them. Ride bikes. Go swimming as a family. Play sports together. Have races. Turn on some music and have a dance party. Take a parent/child swim class. Try yoga together. Coach or teach a sport your kid does. My husband even assists teaching my son's Tae Kwon Do class, so there are plenty of options!
4. Don’t sit on the sidelines.
Walk or run around the outer parameter while you watch your kid’s sport practice. Get creative with it; do walking lunges or squats. If there are benches use them to do push-ups or tricep dips. At games don’t just sit down, walk up and down the field while you cheer.
5. Play active video games.
Pick games that require you to get physical. Whether you have Wii, Xbox, or Playstation, there is a Just Dance Kids that you can dance your heart out with your kids. There are also sport games, which include baseball, tennis, golf, basketball, fencing, boxing and more. There are also fitness training games.
6. Follow an exercise video with your child.
Use exercise videos that involve your children. Argus has home workouts in the app. You can even find some on YouTube. YouTube even has videos that involve working out with a baby. There are also workouts that small children can do with you. You can also buy videos that will help you exercise with your little ones.
7. Turn play dates into exercise dates.
Meet for playdates at the park and walk on the outside of the playground or run around with the kids. Or meet at a mall that has a play area and walk around it. You can also go swimming as a play date.
These are just a few suggestions, but hopefully these ideas got you thinking about how you can exercise with kids.
Cindy lives in Michigan with her husband and three children. Her children keep her very active. She is a homemaker and enjoys making healthy meals at home for her family. One of her favorite activities is to exercise. She loves reading about health topics and writing on her blog. Cindy takes courses about health through Coursera and ITunes University.
Main Photo Credit: Alliance/shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit: Ravil Sayfullin/shutterstock.com; Third Photo Credit: Dmitry Molchanov/shutterstock.com; Fourth Photo Credit: GooGag/shutterstock.com; Fifth Photo Credit: Olesia Bilkei/shutterstock.com