If you and your family are like most other families around the world, you’ve probably spent a lot of time indoors together over the past two and a half years. Even though things have been improving in that respect as of late, the fact that you’ve all been spending so much time at home means that you’ve undoubtedly been skimping on your normal workout regimen.
Given that there might still be days when we’re all holed up at home for extended periods of time, you may want to consider including your children into your exercise regimen if you don’t want to give them extra screen time to entertain themselves while you work out.
Children have a lot of energy, and they love to spend it on fun physical activities. All it takes is a little imagination and inventiveness, and you’ll all be breaking a sweat together doing things that seem less like working out and more like playing!
Kicking off the list with an easy one, planks are an excellent exercise for developing core muscles, which aren’t essential for mom and dad only, but also for strong, nimble youngsters. Planking is also a great way for you to include your kids in your workout regimen without overdoing it right from the get-go, because it’s an easy position that most kids will be able to mimic as soon as they see it done.
Try it out on a carpet or yoga mat so that their elbows and knees don’t get chafed, and turn it into a little bit of friendly competition. Tell them you want to check whether they can hold a plank as long as you can, get a stopwatch running, and then write down your individual plank times for each plank you do throughout the day or week.
Jumping jacks are not just a great exercise that can kick any adult’s butt, but they are also incredibly fun for kids to do (what kid doesn’t like jumping?). Sure, you’ll be kicking up some dust off the floor, but what’s a little dust in exchange for a lot of fun and fitness?
Tell your kids that you are aiming for a specific set of jumping jacks so that they keep at it while counting out loud or in their heads, and then give yourselves at least 30 seconds to pause for breath before you continue. Alternatively, you can do your jumping jacks together in between other, less strenuous workouts.
Whether you are doing it as a way to relieve pain before an energetic workout, or as a post-workout stretch session, yoga is a brilliant way to get your kids involved in your daily workout routine.
So, just find a good spot in the house where you can set your mat on a firm floor — though carpet also works — and pull up an easy yoga routine on the TV so you could all follow along. Give your kids their own mat, if you can and have the room. Having their own mat would definitely make them feel more included and involved in the workout routine.
Even if you’ve never taken any personal training courses, burpees are actually quite easy to master, though they are made up of several individual elements that should be performed seamlessly one after the other for maximum effect.
If your children have a lot of enthusiasm to work out, especially if you’ve eased them into it with some basic exercises beforehand, this is the workout that will both entertain them, awaken their competitive spirit, but also tire them out pretty quickly.
Just tell your kids to squat, jump their feet back, jump forward, stand for a second, and then jump up in their spot. After a dozen of these, you’ll be feeling properly worn out, and your kids will be ready for sleep or some quiet time.
When you mention exercising to kids, most of them tend to associate it with crunches they’ve seen people do on TV, or something similarly prototypical of the term ‘exercise’. That is why crunches are a simple workout that almost any child, regardless of their physical condition, can perform straight away.
It takes little effort to learn how to perform crunches correctly, and it’s also a great core workout. However, make sure that your kids maintain proper form — they might get so enthusiastic about it and end up doing full-fledged sit-ups, which could be damaging to their backs.
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