I don’t know about you but for me finding the time and motivation to exercise is a constant challenge. I’ve tried the early mornings but find that exercising at that time is a constant battle. If it’s not my children who wake up extra early cutting my workout short, it’s me preferring to sleep in a little longer because I had a late night the night before.
I’ve tried exercise DVDs, exercise programs, running, elliptical workouts, and more. And while I’ve found several programs I like, I have found that the ones that involve my children seem to keep me most motivated because I know they are having fun and I’m having fun too. It’s a built-in accountability system if you will.
That said, if you have been having the same struggle I have in regards to exercise here are 12 exercise activities you can do with your kids that will be both fun for them and a heart-raising workout for you. You’ll be setting an example for health and building your parent-child relationships at the same time. What can be more powerful than that?! So let’s get started building happy and healthy families together.
12 Fun Exercises You Can Do With Your Kids
- Biking. If your kids are not old enough to bike with you get a bicycle trailer or toddler carrier so the whole family can get involved. They will love it and you can explore neighborhood parks along the way too.
- Walking and Scootering. This is Peanut and I’s favorite activity right now. Spring is in the air and the weather is just right for me to push Teacup in the jogging stroller while Peanut scooter’s along the park paths near our house. We both enjoy it and we both get a great workout.
- Dance Workouts. If you need a DVD workout these are the best. Kids love to dance and what better way to dance than to do it with your kids? There’s even dance workouts you can do with your baby and toddler. Dance-Baby-Dance ended up being one of my favorite post-natal workouts I did after Peanut was born.
- Play Chase or Tag. Talk about an interval workout–do this for 20-30 minutes to work up a sweat and leave the kids laughing from enjoyment.
- Jump Rope. See who can jump the longest or learn some new jump rope tricks together.
- Train for a race together. Believe it or not even your 4 year old can do this. And, if you have children younger than that, grap a jogging stroller for some fresh air. Peanut ran her first one mile race at 4 years old and we are now training to complete our first 5k together.
- Go swimming. If the weather is nice and you have a pool nearby. This one is fun for the whole family. For added fun, play “marco-polo,” pool tag or water volleyball for a higher-impact workout.
- Go for a hike. Follow a nature trail through a local park or even climb a small mountain if you have one nearby. Have fun discovering God’s creation and getting a little exercise in at the same time.
- Create an outdoor obstacle course. Take turns creating the course and/or writing the rules. Obstacles could be anything–cones, old tires, the sandbox, or even just physical challenges such as the crab walk or hopping on one foot for a certain length of time.
- Play a sport. Get out in your backyard or venture to your local park to play a game of frisbee golf, tennis, basketball, or soccer. Your kids will have fun trying to beat you and you’ll be getting better at a sport too!
- Go rollerskating or rollerblading. My kids are not quite here yet but given a couple of years I can’t wait to try this out with my kids. This sounds like it could be a blast!
- Play a interactive game on the Wii. Try Kickboxing, Just Dance, or Zumba. These games are great for getting the heart-rate up and perfect for rainy or cold weather days.
What is your favorite exercise to do with your kids?
Feel free to share away in the comments. I know that we don’t all have kids the same age and thus some will be able to do more with their parents than others so I’d love to hear what works for you. I’m always up for a new adventure.