If you’re a busy parent, or currently in lockdown, getting to the gym poses an additional hurdle — who will watch your little ones while you sweat it up? While some facilities do feature onsite daycare, not all do. Plus, you might crave time with your kids after a busy day more than you do an elliptical machine.
Why not go for a two-for-one punch? People of all ages benefit from fitness, so get your tykes involved. Here are seven creative ways to work out at home with kids.
1. Complete the Circuit
Are you short on time? If so, consider making circuit training with your kiddos a core exercise essential in your routine. You don’t need anything more than your body weight, although you can certainly spice your practice up with inexpensive hand weights and resistance bands.
What makes this fitness methodology so effective is that it combines cardio and strength training to get maximum results in a minimal time. For example, you might go directly from lunges into a set of pushups with no break, keeping your heart rate elevated. To maximise efficiency even further, you can throw in some compound movements that work multiple body parts, such as squats with overhead presses.
Make this calisthenics-style routine fun for your little one by giving each move playful names and turning it into a game. For example, you might be training to scale Mt. Everest when you do step-ups using your stairwell. Establishing a routine exercise habit when your kids are young provides them with a healthy coping mechanism and preventative health care for life.
2. Playground Obstacles
If you want your child to become more active, take them to the park. However, your trip doesn’t need to entail you sitting on the bench watching them have all the fun.
Use the time to get your workout groove going, too. You can perform inverted rows on the jungle gym and ab rollouts on the swings. Many facilities also feature walking and jogging paths where you can do your cardiovascular training — why not challenge your kiddo to a race?
3. Learn to Ride
A rite of passage for nearly all children is learning how to ride a bike. Once they do, you have a fabulous new way to get fit with your little one. Please don’t exert excess pressure, as doing so could increase phobias and further delay the process — some kids aren’t ready to lose the training wheels until after age 6.
While your child masters the knack, start scoping out the safest routes to get from here to there so that you can combine exercise with errand-running. If you can locate a back way to your favourite grocery store through a greenbelt, you can decrease your carbon emissions and burn calories on your way to pick up a fresh head of kale for your dinner salad. Most kids adore riding their bikes once they learn how, and they’ll jump at the chance instead of balking about having to accompany you.
4. Take a Hike
Children younger than 12 aren’t yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, although officials hope to win approval before the end of the year. In the meantime, you can boost your child’s immune response naturally by taking them hiking. Investigators researched forest-bathing participants and discovered an increased number and activity in natural killer cells, which fight germs.
You might also need to de-stress after all the madness of the past several months, and hiking offers the ideal outlet. You and your child will enjoy uninterrupted quiet time — they may open up to you about problems they’re having at school or with a friend when they feel more relaxed. You’ll both reap the mental health benefits of getting outdoors more while upping your exercise quotient.
5. The Old Scrub-a-Dub
If you put off vacuuming, please don’t live with the dust any longer. Vigorous housecleaning can burn up to 200 calories per hour while working various muscle groups.
What if your kiddos resist doing anything remotely like a chore? Make it fun! A pair of mop socks makes scrubbing the floor into an ice-skating adventure. You can also have a competition — the person who finishes their share first wins a prize, like choosing the family dinner.
6. Have a Ball
A ball can be you and your child’s best fitness friend, and you can afford multiple types in various sizes since they are so inexpensive. Large inflatable fitness balls challenge your balance and core — you can even use them to replace chairs. They also make ordinary sit-ups in front of the television more entertaining for all ages.
You can also invest in medicine balls of various weights and perform moves like squats with a rotational press using your child as your partner. There’s also nothing wrong with heading outdoors and tossing the pigskin around with your kiddo to burn calories and develop eye-hand coordination.
7. Kiddie Yoga
Yoga is the ultimate mind-body exercise for people ages two to 122. The trick to making it kid-friendly is to start slow and use appropriate language.
For example, many yoga poses take their names from various animals. You can have your little one dip their back like a cow heavy with milk, then round it like a scared Halloween kitty.
Busy mums often lack time to head to the gym. Why not bring the workout home with these seven creative activities you can do with your kids?