Family workouts are amazing. Your children learn how to be active through example, and the social bonding only reinforces the lesson. It’s good exercise for you and your kids. You get moving, and they get worn-out. It’s a win-win!
Any workout you do can easily be adapted for small children. The easiest way is to watch them copy you and take what they do as a guide. Their clumsy jumping-jacks become jumping-insert child’s name. Do not worry if they, or you, look ridiculous. The point is to get moving and bond, not to be an Olympian.
As far as equipment, use things around the house. Tape lines make great goal markers. If you use a chair for step-ups, let them use their sink stool or even a stack of heavy books. If you use weights, give them a heavy toy or a flashlight or a bag of beans. Get creative!
Friendly competition is always fun. See who can be the fastest, do the most reps, hold the plank for the longest time. You could also turn your regular work-out routine into the family Olympic Games and make your own medals with ribbon and craft paper.
If you have wild toddlers who like to get physical, they make great free-weights for you, too. Hold them and dance. Have piggie-back runs through the yard. Lifting them up and down to do your arm curls. You get a workout, and they will giggle with delight as you become their own personal jungle gym.
Embrace the silliness of it. Pretend to be ninjas, knights, ballerinas. Dress up, and put on some music. Working out doesn’t have to be regimented, and it can be a great time to get creative and play make-believe.
However, some people need the counting and the timing to stay focused, and that’s okay too! Use it as an opportunity to practice counting with little ones, and teach time to older children.
Here are a few ideas to get started:
Card Work Out
1: Pick four exercises that can be counted
ex: jumping jacks, crunches, lunges, push-ups
2: Assign each one to a suit
ex: jumping jacks = diamonds; crunches = clubs
3: Shuffle the deck and draw a card
4: The suit tells you what to do, and the number tells you the number of times
*It’s a great way to practice shapes and numbers*
Here’s another version using UNO cards from howdoesshe.com.
And here are some ballet basics to try so you can get your little princess moving, too:
Remember, have fun, embrace the ridiculousness, and get moving!
Ms. Ashley and Ms. Bri