If being more active is on your to-do list this spring, take a cue from your kids by adding fun to your workouts. Better yet, exercise together! Being active with your family won’t only benefit your health; it’ll benefit theirs as well. Here are five activities that require little in the way of equipment, but provide all-important bonding time with your children.
Downward dog, anyone?
You can start the day in a positive way with yoga exercise. Even young children can master the table pose (hands and knees on the ground, keeping back flat), cow pose (dropping belly while inhaling and looking up at the ceiling) and cat pose (arching the back while dropping the head down to look at the belly). Older children might enjoy following along with a yoga DVD or an online video. The benefits of deep breathing and muscle-relaxing exercises are numerous, including better posture, improved muscle tone and relief from menstrual cramps.
Put the play in playground
Tag, you’re it! This childhood game becomes one high-intensity workout when moved to the playground. You can keep kids running around the equipment, or let them chase you. Or skip a trip to the gym and use the structures as part of your workout-have the kids try standing pushups or bench dips with you. Even just playing on the swings and slides with your kids, or kicking around a soccer ball, is a great way to sneak some exercise into your day and de-stress.
Everyone in the pool
Until the weather is a little warmer, the local indoor pool is your best bet for swimming. Take advantage of designated family swim times to let kids splash around while you get a leg workout by performing lunges or just treading water. But make sure that safety comes first. Kids who can’t swim should always wear a life jacket or personal flotation device that’s been specifically designed for children, and parents should be within arm’s reach of their child at all times. Challenge your older, stronger swimmers to set the pace for you during the pool’s designated lane swim times. Using tampons ensures that teens who are having their periods won’t need to miss out on any of the fun.
Get your groove on
Anyone who has ever hit a dance floor knows what a great aerobic workout dancing can be. Dance video games are a great way to get active at home. You may not be doing a targeted workout, but you are burning calories, making life more active and making fun memories.
Hit the road
Your kids love riding their bikes, but how often do you go for a spin with them? This simple activity is great cardio, and it improves balance, coordination and lower-body strength. It’s also an easy activity to do anywhere. You can go on an errand to the corner store or library, or you can explore local trails purely for recreation.