Easy Ways for Parents to Exercise with Kids

iStock_000004075960SmallSince my youngest two children were born, I’ve been a stay at home mom.  I had difficulty fitting in work outs when I was with the kids during the day, and after the kids were in bed, I was usually too tired to want to work out.  At that point, all I wanted to do was crawl into bed with a good book.

I told myself that when the kids started school I’d have more time to exercise regularly.  This was supposed to be the year that they’d be in kindergarten and preschool, but my husband and I decided to homeschool.  Now the kids are with me all day.  Suddenly I had to find a way to exercise with the kids if I was ever going to keep an exercise routine.

Using DVDs to Exercise with Kids

Find exercise DVDs kids like.

For Christmas, I got my kids some exercise DVDs.  One is a kids’ dance video that has songs they like as well as silly dance moves they like.  I joined in with them, but I didn’t realize what a workout it would be!  The DVD has 12 songs, but we only made it through the first five songs.  We’re building our endurance to get through the whole DVD.

We also got a Gilad DVD specifically targeting kids.  In this DVD, Gilad is exercising with five kids.  My kids like watching the other kids exercise and feel motivated.  We can get through this DVD, but not without some sore muscles the next day.

Use exercise DVDs that involve the kids.

My daughter loves yoga.  We found an acrobatic yoga DVD that is specifically for a child and parent.  Typically, the parent takes the pose and the child joins or the parent and child work together in tandem.  For instance, in one pose, my child and I sit facing each other, feet to feet and join hands.  Then we take turns leaning back so the other person gets a good stretch.  My kids don’t even think they’re exercising with this DVD.  They’re just having fun.

Having Fun at the Park

On nice summer days, I like to take the kids to the park.  I join in when they play tag, or sometimes we just run around together.  If your kids are bigger, you could jump rope with them or even do jumping jacks and other exercises kids do.

Other Outdoor Fun

Take family bike rides.

My kids love riding their bikes.  We live in a busy city now, so we don’t ride much together.  However, if we move to the suburbs, I would love to take family bike rides, especially as the kids get older.

Take a family walk or hike.

Most kids love to get out and explore nature.  Taking a family walk is a great way to get exercise and enjoy the great outdoors.

Exercising When They’re Playing Sports

My kids have soccer practice once a week.  During that time, I stay on site and walk around the block.  I get in 45 minutes of exercise while the kids are practicing with their coaches.

Other Options

Turn on the music and dance.

One of my kids’ favorite ways to exercise is to turn on kids’ music and just dance around the room.  They usually laugh and have a lot of fun, and all of us get a good workout.

If money isn’t an issue, there is another option to try.

Go to the gym.

If you have a gym membership, you might be able to drop the younger ones off at the gym daycare and exercise with your older children at the gym.  Some gyms even have exercise classes such as martial arts that your kids can attend while you workout.

Exercising with kids doesn’t have to be challenging.  You can have fun together and set a great example for your kids about the importance of regular physical exercise.

Do you exercise with your kids?  If so, what is your favorite activity?



Easy Ways for Parents to Exercise with Kids — 4 Comments

  1. We walk while the kids ride their little bikes. They go pretty slow so we’re all at about the same pace. We also pull the kids to the park in a wagon. Once we get there, we rest a little while they play.

  2. My parents always used to take us to this park in our town with a big loop. They’d walk the loop while we rode our bikes around. I never thought of it as exercise, just fun.

    • David–We live in an area that does not have a good public school system. We paid for private school for our oldest, but then when our two youngest children were ready for school, we found it prohibitive to pay for three children in private school.

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