Engage your kids in your fitness routines and set them up for a healthy, active lifestyle. Get-Fit Guy has 4 tips on how to include your kids in your workouts - and have a ton of fun!
My twin 6-year-old boys and I were recently driving to the gym where I planned to run on the treadmill while they played in childcare. But as we drove by a grassy park bathed in sunshine, I made a change of plans. I pulled into the parking lot and we all jogged around the park for 5 minutes then:
They threw a frisbee, I sprinted, chased it down, and brought it back - then we all did 5 body weights squats together. We repeated the cycle for 10 rounds.
Then they each kicked one soccer ball. I sprinted, chased down the soccer balls one by one, brought them back, and we all did 5 burpees together. This cycle was also repeated for 10 rounds.
By this point, I was already tired! But I decided to throw in a bit more:
We then had a race in which I carried one boy (on my back) and raced the other boy 100 yards, then had a 20-second rest, and repeated the process with the other boy. We went for a total of 10 rounds.
Whew! By the time we finished, the kids were laughing, I was gassed, and we all had a great workout.
In the episode How to Get Your Kids Fit, my fellow Quick and Dirty tips host Mighty Mommy and I discuss how important it is for our children to see us exercise and to take part in our exercise routines whenever possible.
In the episode, How Much Should Kids Exercise?, you learn that kids need a minimum of 7 minutes of brief bouts of intense exercise - accompanied by a full day of standing more, walking more, and staying generally physically active - to maintain optimal health and to keep them from childhood obesity or other cardiometabolic risk factors.
4 Ways to Include Your Kids in Your Workouts
So in addition to playing “fetch” in the park and doing races while carrying your kids on your back, what are some other ways you can include your children in your workouts? These 4 ideas should get your wheels churning:
Tip #1: Use Your Kids as Weights
My wife and I recently took our boys on vacation to Legoland in Florida. While the dank, indoor hotel gym wasn’t exactly rife with fancy exercise equipment or space, the outdoor, sunny hotel pool area offered a perfect venue for workouts.
On day one, my wife and I each grabbed one of the boys and did the following circuit:
20 feet backward and forward crabwalks with the kids riding on our waist
20 reps overhead child presses with a squat
20 feet bear crawls with a kid the back
10 push-ups with a kid on the back
20 feet crocodile crawls with a kid on the back
10 arm curls holding a kid upside down by their legs
This workout finished with a broad jump and a leap frog contest between us and the kids.
Tip #2: Get in the Pool
On day two of our Legoland vacation, we hopped in the pool and did the following circuit, each of us with a boy on our back:
2 lengths underwater swimming
2 lengths doggy paddle
20 reps pool pull-outs
2 minutes treading water
This one finished up with an underwater breath holding contest and then a biggest splash contest with the kids.