Exercising with Children
In an ideal world, there would be plenty of time for everything, but since this is not the case, we have to make
the most of the time we have. It is becoming more and more imperative that children learn to exercise at an early
age, and that they enjoy it. There are so many reports being published stating the overweight percentages for
children, and children are gaining more weight at an earlier age all the time. Lifestyles are changing, and not
only does watching television cause a sedentary lifestyle, but so does sitting at computers all day! (Yes, I know
about this all too well as I sit at my computer typing this! And I am trying to make sure I get some exercise each
This means that it is vital to encourage exercise at an early age, and since this is good for adults too, it
makes sense to combine exercising routines with the whole family. This could be in the form of a nightly walk, or a
game of soccer with all family members, or a bike ride, or a family gardening project. There are many worth
thinking about, but more important than thinking, you must act on these thoughts and make sure all your family
members get exercise regularly!
Exercising With Kids -- Tips For Parents
by: Lynn Bode
Making exercise a priority is a challenge for everyone. And for parents it can be especially difficult to find
time to workout because of the full plates that they often juggle. When summer arrives the juggling act becomes
even more tricky with kids home from school and involved in extracurricular activities.
But, finding time for regular physical activity is so important that it should be a priority placed on your
calendar, just like your kids softball game. A parent needs to exercise not only for themselves, but also for their
kids benefit. Its important to set a good example. If your children never see you engage in fitness or if they hear
you complain about working out, then they are going to have a negative image of exercise. Let them know that you
workout to stay healthy, to be strong and to have more energy and stamina (so you can keep up with them)!
The big question is how to make it a priority that fits in your schedule. Well, its actually easier than you may
think. With a little planning you can find ways to incorporate workouts into the time you spend with your children.
Regardless of what age your children are, theres a way to find time to workout (often even with your kids)! Here
are some tips based on the age of your children.
Age: Infant through pre-school
- Fit in exercise time while they are napping. Try a home exercise video, walking or jogging (if you have a
treadmill), jumping rope.
- Occupy them for even 15 minutes with a video or toy while you do some toning exercises like squats and
- Grab your stroller and go for a brisk walk*. Or, buy a jogging stroller for more flexibility. With a
jogging stroller you can walk faster, jog or even run at a fast pace. And, for veteran rollerbladers, you can
even use the stroller for some skating time.
- For younger children, you can use a back carrier to transport them while walking. This can burn even more
calories as the extra weight makes it more challenging.
- Turn on some music and dance together. Toddlers love dancing, especially when their parents joins in.
- Push your kid on a swing. And, after every push complete one squat.
- Use an infant carrier or bike trailer to enjoy a bike ride together.
Age: Grade School
- Try rollerblading or skating together.
- Spend an afternoon at a park with a playground, but dont spend the whole time relaxing on the sidelines
join in on the fun. Spend some time swinging to help workout your legs. Try making it across the monkey bars
even just once (its a great upper body workout and youll be amazed that your kid does it with such little
ease). Try some pull-ups using a bar on the playset. Do some tricep dips on a nearby park bench.
- Play catch with a ball or get a small group together for a kickball or softball game.
- Make Saturdays family bike outing day.
- Involve your kids while you strength train. Let them count your reps out loud for you and/or clock your
rest time in-between sets.
- For pool outings, dont just spend time soaking up the sun. Walk back and forth in shallow water while your
kids have fun splashing about.
- On rainy days that force you inside, walk or run up and down the stairs. You might even make it a contest
to see who can finish 5 complete rounds first.
- Register for a fun run (or walk) event and spend time together training for the event.
- Purchase a family gym membership and workout together weekly.
- Play tennis or basketball together.
- Consider joining a community volleyball or softball team that includes enthusiasts of all ages.
- Dont just sit and cheer your kids at their sporting events. Every few minutes do some walking or jumping
jacks or squats.
- Implement a daily family walk each day before or after dinner.
- Work together in the yard raking leaves, planting flowers, trimming trees.
So, with all the above recommendations, you no longer have the Im a parent I dont have time to workout excuse.
If you implement these activities for just 30 minutes three times per week, you can easily burn an extra 450
calories or more! Plus, working out sets a great example for your children that will teach them at an early age how
important (and easy) it is to make physical fitness a part of daily life. Exercising with your kids also provides
the extra bonus of spending quality time together.
* For a complete stroller workout plan, visit: http://www.workoutsforyou.com/stoller_plan.htm
About The Author
Lynn Bode, author and certified personal trainer,
offers her services online through WorkoutsForYou.com. Workouts For You provides affordable online exercise
programs to help even the busiest of people lose weight, tone-up, build muscles, increase
stamina and more via the Internet. Let us guide you one-on-one through your fitness journey.
Visit: http://www.workoutsforyou.com for a free sample workout.