I have very fond memories of going to parks together as a family, playing frisbee, riding bikes, playing baseball, and going on long walks.
I also remember not wanting to do them as a child many times. lol. But overall the memories are very fond, and I am glad my parents made that a family habit.
We as Moms have a chance to instill Exercise as a Joyful activity for our children – not to mention a habit for you, and your Husband as well.
Thanks to some other Moms, I have compiled a list of Exercises you can complete with your kids/family.
9 Ways To Exercise Together As A Family
1: Walks, bike rides or hikes
Sometimes with them all, or just one or two at a time. In the city we lived in, there was a trail less than a mile away. We’d ride for a while, stop at the market for some groceries or a smoothie, and ride back. If you have a younger child(ren), scan Craigslist for a bike trailer, or attachment. We love ours so much, and our children do too. I even did this while pregnant! At a certain point, when your knees start banging your belly, maybe limit it, but you can do this for a long time
On days when I am going to run a mile or two or three, I invite one or two of my kids (Ages 10 & 8) to run with me, and I let them lead. They choose the route and speed, and I encourage their leadership. It’s a great bonding experience for us. Or buy a Jogging Stroller (also check Craigslist for this) and bring your kids along. This adds 50 extra calories to your run, and also encourages proper form.
I have loved Zumba for about 5 years now. On a day that I have not worked out, or feel like dancing (a lot of the time), I invite my kids, however many of them who want to join, to do Zumba with me. I have a set of DVD’s, so I just clear the living room, everyone gets their spot, and we dance to the Zumba workout together. My kids have a blast, as do I! There are dancing exercises at DailyBurn as well!
4: Family sports
Sometimes, usually during summer, but even on a day off of school or Saturday, I will plan a day to play a sport together. These days it is soccer or basketball. We get up, pack a bag of snacks and go to the soccer field with our shin guards and cleats, and play 3 on 3 or so. We just have fun, run around, cheer one another on, and even I have my own cleats and shin guards, so we really do play as a team regularly. If there is a different sport my kids are interested in, we try and find gear, usually at the Goodwill or thrift store because it makes them feel like they are immersing themselves better when they feel prepared to play.
Make sure and emphasize the importance of good food for Fuel, and continually Hydrating. For kids that hate water, they may be less resistant when they learn about the importance of hydration. Or buy them some cool water bottles to make it more fun!
5: Dance Parties
Usually on a Friday night, we have a dance party. But, it can happen any time, anyway, also. After our family movie night, there is usually a few songs that play as the credit scroll. Our little tradition is, we have a dance party, where we all dance for that 10-15 minutes, and the one who dance the longest or has the most creative dance moves gets to pick Saturday morning breakfast. They love this! We all have fun, and it wears them out a little more before bedtime. The kids don’t know that we usually let them all win in order, so everyone eventually gets a turn picking breakfast, which they love doing! It is a great end to our Family nights after a nice dinner, movie, snacks and cuddles.
We all jump on the trampoline together… We play little games like crack the egg, and practice cartwheels and flips and such.
7: Obstacle courses
Usually when we are traveling, and we’ve been in the car a while, we find a time and place to make an obstacle course. It is never super fancy, we just try and be creative as we encourage our babes to get out of the car, move, get their wiggles out, and get tired again in time to get back in the car for a few more hours. We might stop somewhere on open grass field or something similar. Then we’ll line up the kids, together or one at a time, and invent an obstacle course. We may have them at the starting line, then run to touch a tree, then do 10 push-ups, skip to the light post, walk backwards to the van, do 10 jumping jacks and then tag their brother/sister so he/she can go next. We often participate and cheer one another, or the whole team on. Team Reagan ! And you can do this anywhere!
8. Baby & Me Workouts
You can find these on Pinterest and some YouTube channels. These are different ways to use your baby as your weights! Lifting them, doing pushups over them, or maybe downward dog. You’ll find a big list of ways to incorporate them into your workout, and they love it! I believe in some cities, there are even baby and me workout classes you can attend! Find one in a city near you!
9. With A Friend - while the kids play!
When I was pregnant, I would go over to my other pregnant friend’s house, and the kids would play together! Sometimes they would come and ask for snuggles, and we would oblige, which gave a much needed break sometimes, but for the most part they played together the whole time. Workout for you, social time for them!
These were all so good! Another BIG THANK YOU to the Mom’s who contributed to this article, and many others. I just love my WhateverMoms Community!
I know that you mama’s probably have some other ways that you have encouraged family exercise, please write them in the comments below!