These days, kids spend far too much time sitting in a classroom or in front of a screen. It’s important for children to be physically fit and active to improve their overall health. Fitness for kids can be fun for the whole family. Not only will it help you and your kid break a sweat, it’s a chance for family bonding time.
Fitness For Kids and How You Can Join Them
Practice with your child
For older children, use the sport in which they participate to incorporate your own exercise. Does your children play soccer? Run around and kick the ball with them. How about baseball? Throw the ball and let them hit, then you be the one to retrieve the ball. Build your exercise into their practice, and you will both see benefits!
Make it special
For an older child, your active time together can become your “special together time.” Whether you are taking a walk in the park or riding bikes together, hype up this time as your one on one time and your child will be more likely to want to come along (particularly if they are not teenagers!) This is one of my favorite ways to incorporate exercise with my family, because I get the dedicated time to focus on my toddler.
Try Interval Running
Even with toddlers, you can try interval running. This method involves running for a certain interval and then walking for another. For example, you might jog for 1 minute and walk for 5. In better shape? Walk less and run more. With my older kids, this has been a great way to connect and socialize as well.
Workout while they play
This could be running sprints or a HIIT workout in the yard while they play or doing pull-ups on the monkey bars, but you can find time to incorporate a good workout while your children play. You never know – they may even want to join you when they see you running around the yard!
Try Yoga Together
Yoga teaches kids to have fun while moving their bodies in an environment that is peaceful and non-competitive. Yoga isn’t about being right or wrong, or being best or worst. You and your child can work together to help each other reach this goal.
Join a Stroller Club
All over the country stroller clubs are popping up as a way for mothers of young children to get a workout with their child. From stroller runs to lunges to abs work while holding the baby, this can be a great way to incorporate your child into your workout routine. Toddlers can get out and get some run around time too.
Set up an obstacle course
In your back yard or a local park, put cones to run around in a figure 8, a jump rope, hula-hoop, pushup or jumping jack station. If you are at the park, you can incorporate the jungle gym part of the park for dips, pull ups, decline rows, etc. Make it a game and your kids are more likely to participate!
Make Chores Fun
Turn doing household chores into a workout. Play music and encourage kids to dance around while completing tasks. You can also have kids race against each other to complete tasks. The losing team has to do laps around the living room.
Turn your house into a sports arena
Play indoor-friendly versions of your child’s favorite sports. Try hallway soccer or indoor volleyball with a balloon. Get a behind-the-door basketball hoop. The possibilities are endless.
Lauren Keplinger is a health and fitness enthusiast, as well as an Army wife and mom to 2 toddlers. She talks about meal planning, fitness for kids, finding a healthy balance, and striving to meet your goals while juggling parenthood over at Mommy’s Getting Strong.