By Kelly O'Lone, Contributing Blogger
If the pandemic taught us anything, it was how to adapt to our kids being home all the time. Did I mention how they were home ALL THE TIME? Your new home setup and having to homeschool your children may have thrown your stellar workout routine to the wayside.
Now that it’s summer, it’s time to get back outside again and have a little fun. While I have always made a point to tell my kids that when I exercise, it’s my time, there is a lot of fun in having your kids workout alongside you. So, how can you incorporate your kids into a workout?
Here are my five favorite ways to have my kids work out with me without them even realizing we are exercising.
5 Ways to Make Your Kids a Part of Your Workout
1. Create an Obstacle Course
My kids love a good old-fashioned obstacle course. It’s a great way to get both you and your kids active. You can do this in your backyard or set up at a local park. To make your kids even more interested, have them set up the course. Things always seem to go better if they think it was their idea.
You don’t have to have anything fancy either. Grab a couple of soccer balls, a jump rope, and anything else lying around your backyard. We’ve used dog toys as markers on where we have to do a specific activity.
Finally, if you have sidewalk chalk, consider taking the obstacle course to the driveway. It’s a great way to let the kids be creative and draw up their course. As a bonus, do some jumping jacks while they are putting their artistic talent to work.
2. Ditch the Weights and Use Your Kids
Take a break from your hand weights and lift your children instead. I will put my young daughter on my back when I need to take the dog for a walk. I make her walk for part of it, but I let her climb up once she gets worn out. I have a handy leash belt for the dog, making it easier to hold onto my daughter.
In addition, having a child on your back while you do squats and lunges is an incredible workout. I promise you will feel it tomorrow. If you’re in the mood for a challenge, let one of your kids sit on your back while you do planks or push-ups.
3. Push Them in The Stroller
Probably the easiest way to get your kids incorporated into your exercise routine is by pushing them in the stroller while you run or walk. To mix things up a little bit, stop every 5 or 10 minutes and add some lunges or squats.
Pushing kids around in the stroller is much more of a workout than walking on your own. If you can find some good hills, challenge yourself a little. Your rear will thank you afterward.
While going for a walk with the stroller seems simple enough, you can turn the low-intensity workout into something greater by adding moves along the way.
4. Have a Dance Party
If the heat keeps you all inside, turn on some music and dance around your living room. You’ll be amazed at how many calories you can burn while dancing around the house. YouTube has a lot of fun videos to dance along to and torch some calories.
You could end up with a 20 or 30-minute workout just by dancing around your house. It’s also a fun way to let loose a little in the comfort of your own home. It’s up to you whether you want to close the blinds or not.
5. Have a Relay Race
If you are used to going for a run, consider having a relay race with your kids. Sprinting across the backyard is a surefire way to get your heart rate up. While you may be used to running several miles, relay races are a fun way to get your kids involved in your workout.
It’s also a great way to encourage them to race around the yard. My kids tend to be a little competitive, so I try to remind them it’s just for fun. The fun stops when the fights begin. I don’t want any tears, just sweat rolling down my face.
Wrapping Things Up
It is possible to have your kids as part of your workout. While it may not be the same as hitting up the gym, it allows you to teach them the importance of exercising as part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s also a great way to spend time with your kiddos while getting in your workout. So, get outside, have some fun, and don’t forget your sunscreen.