The holiday feasts and festivities are over, and the time has come to work off all the turkey, treats, and other celebratory noms. But getting kids to workout is a little tricky, as they’re probably not interested in spending time on the elliptical. Not to worry, with these easy kids exercises, your munchkins will be moving and grooving in no time, busting a move, and getting healthy! In the meantime, enjoy the extra belly space for zerberts and tummy tickles.
- Walking (Or Running) With the Family Dog
Dogs need walks, kids need exercise, and that’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about when you get home from work. Let the kids take over walking the family pet if it’s safe. This is not recommended if the dog is too large for your child to manage alone, but if you have a little dog, this is the perfect chance to get a daily chore taken care of. This exercise idea for kids also spreads some tasks around the household and teaches kids responsibility.
From enrolling in kids dance classes at a local studio, to playing some dance video games on the family TV, to just busting a move while blasting your favorite kid-friendly Pandora station, there’s no excuse to not be dancing at some point in the day. It boosts coordination, self esteem, mood, and is a great form of exercise for kids! With games like Just Dance for Wii and PlayStation, and Dance Central for Xbox, it’s easy to bring the dance party home. Just make sure you have enough space! Dance classes for kids are great for socialization as well. And a great way to start the day? Have a song queued up as an alarm to wake up to, and wake up to your favorite tune! Dance your way out of bed, and you’re bound to have a great day. Try it!
Despite the silly name, this workout is intense! It really works those little legs, and gets the blood flowing! To do a BunnyJack, you can hop around a large space, or perform it while standing in place. One rep is hopping like a bunny twice, and then doing a regular jumping jack. This kids exercise is best performed while wearing bunny ears, and with a snack of baby carrot sticks served immediately after.
- Create a Home Obstacle Course
Next time you find yourself at the discount store, head over to the toy aisle and pick up some hula hoops, pool noodles, small plastic cones, and other things to create a course for your little one to work through. Give them fun themes, like pretending you’re secret agents who have to sneak through a busy train station without being noticed. Imagination is the key for this kids exercise!
- Hula Hooping!
Hula hooping is making a comeback as a great weight loss/fitness activity, and it’s a super awesome exercise idea for kids. The best way to get the most out of this workout is by making your own hula hoops, which combines fitness and arts and crafts into one activity filled day! To make a hula hoop, pick up some polypropylene tubing from Home Depot, or whichever hardware store is closest to you. You’ll also want to pick up some tube fittings as well. ¾” width is recommended for small bodies. Once you have these two things, it’s up to you if you want to buy tube scissors as well, which run about $18, or just use regular house scissors. Tube scissors make cutting a little easier, but can be pricey.
Next, head over to an art supply shop, and grab some fun colored, skinny duct tape for decorating your hoop! Get a few different colors, like neon, metallic, and a dark color. Last stop, the grocery store. If you don’t mind a little bit of rattle in your hoop, pick up a bag of rice. This also helps to add some weight to your hoop, to keep it spinning longer. WARNING: To avoid hip bruising, hoops should never weigh more than two pounds. For a small child, a quarter of a pound should be plenty. Measure out the rice, use a funnel or a paper cone to get it in the tube, and use the connector to seal it together. Then get started decorating! Once the hoop is finished, have a contest to see who can keep it going for the longest. Or check out some videos on YouTube, and learn some neat hoop tricks!
- Host a Playground Triathlon
Kick as high as you can on the swing 30 times, go up and down the slide 15 times, spin on the Merry-Go-Round until you get dizzy, and bring it home by collapsing in the sandbox in a tired but victorious heap. With multiple kids, you can time them, and make some ribbons in advance for winners. This kids exercise is recommended for the warmer months, as lots of running is involved.
For those in those wintery climates, this may have to wait a few months, but for those in the sunnier parts of the world, hop to it! Biking trails are becoming more popular, especially in more urban cities, so grab your helmets and get going! Bike to the beach, to school, to the grocery store, or just find a nice trail to bike through and watch the sunset. Biking isn’t just an exercise for kids, it’s great for the whole family! It reduces your carbon footprint, and burns tons of calories!