As a parent, you are busy all day and night. You work, run errands, clean the house and make sure your kids are safe and happy. But while all those things have to be done, they are not necessarily healthy. You get lost in the myriads of worries and jobs and forget about the balance, all the while giving up on your workout routine. So how can you bring your focus back to what’s important? Certainly adding a workout to your to-do list won’t help and will only create more stress and resistance. Instead, try joining kids in their active, curiosity-inducing, exciting world explorations. You’d be surprised to find out that it is hard to keep up with them, which means that kids activities can become your perfect workout.
Here is the list of kids activities that will get you into shape depending on the child’s age:
Exercising with a newborn (0-12 months)
Newborns can be unpredicting – their daily routine falls out of the standard schedule and they can fall asleep almost anywhere. Plus they are not particularly active at that stage and their safety is your biggest priority. You can still get the right amount exercise, just make sure you don’t forget about baby’s comfort. You can find a lot of ideas on exercising indoors while your baby sleeps but here are a couple additional ones:
- Yoga with a baby. You can either make use of their nap times to practice yoga poses, or you can be joined by a baby. While you won’t be able to truly have an active mother-baby workout while she is too little, you can still have her lying by your side on the yoga mat.
- Front carrier squats. Do some squats with your baby in a front carrier.
- High chair lunges. Use a baby’s stroller as a prop while doing lower body lunges. You can even have a full body stroller workout! Who knew it is possible?
- Baby dancing. Blast those happy tunes, move the furniture around, lift your baby and dance like nobody’s watching.
Workout with a toddler (1-3 years old)
Toddlers love to move and keep themselves busy. After all, now that they have some level of independence, all they care about is exploration. Sensory, physical and observing outdoor and indoor activities with toddlers are perfect for satiating their curiosity.
- Take a long walk. Whether you are making circles in the neighborhood or walking to the store, build long walks into your daily routine. You kids will enjoy the fresh air and you will get the needed fix of physical activity and also get to explore the neighborhood together. You can even try running and jumping if your toddler is eager.
- Playground fun. Playgrounds are made for kids, but they are so easy to turn into a gym for the parents. While your kid is enjoying the time of his life making new friends and jumping into the balloon pool, instead of waiting for his 2-hour play session to end, make use of the playground equipment and work those muscles.
- Play with resistance bands and Bosu balls. Work your abs, legs, and arms with the help of new shining equipment, that can just as well serve as a new toy for your baby. Show him how to use it and watch his hilarious moves. Using safe sports equipment in indoor toddler activities is a smart way to get them into an active lifestyle.
- Water play /cleaning. Get a couple of spray water bottles, fill them up with water and give them to your toddler to clean the bathroom, kitchen, and the cupboards.
Preschoolers and grade schoolers (3-5 years old)
The physical growth and motor development slow down at this stage, but there are social, intellectual and emotional changes the child will experience. The play and fun should not stop there though. Add an educational twist to all outdoor and indoor family activities and enjoy the challenge.
- Charades is an outrageously fun activity for the whole family. Pick a word, then have kids act out each syllable or the whole word. And don’t forget to participate yourself – not only you will improve your acting game but burn those stubborn calories while trying hard to move like a dinosaur or stand like a tree.
- Color walk. Put colored sheets of paper onto the house floor and for the next 2 hours you can only step on the paper, not the floor. The one who fails to do so get to clean the room.
- Work in the yard. When the autumn leaves cover the yard, make a game of catching them in the wind. On a snowy day build a snowman. On a nice summer day pick up decorations and Enlist kids’ help with hanging them around.
- Treasure hunt. Pretend you are pirates on a hunt for gold. But before the activity starts, have treasures hidden all around the house
- Make a game out of household chores. You need to clean the house but can’t seem to have enough energy? Ask your little rangers, superheroes, and aliens for their superpowers and fight off the dust and mold together.
- Wash the car together. However mundane this activity might sound, it is actually a great exercise for you and for kids. Kids won’t get bored if you integrate some fun into it and turn the whole washing into a game with everyone soaking up in water and soap bubbles.
Whether you need to entertain your kids or want to teach them a healthy lifestyle, activities that involve some sort of a workout are your best bet. Kids are excellent at picking up subliminal messages. If you incorporate daily exercise into their routine, encourage the active lifestyle and make it all seem like a game, kids will be more inclined to follow positive lifestyle choices when they grow up. And while they are learning, don’t just stand there watching – exercise is a bonding activity for the whole family. Have fun with them, participate in their shenanigans and watch your reflection in the mirror getting thinner and your mood getting better with each day.