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Ten Family Workout Ideas to Try This Weekend

Research tells us that healthy parents tend to raise healthy kids — a truth that most of us don’t need scientific proof to believe.  Raising healthy kids involves two main things: 1) ROLE MODELING (showing them the joy we get from scrambling up mountains with friends and the rosy-cheeked glow we come home with after yoga class), and 2) DOING (getting out on the fields and splashing around in the pool with them).  If you’re trying to figure out how to squeeze the “doing” part in, give one of these family workouts a try this weekend…

Run the Track (and Smell the Flowers): In the contained space of a high school track, a 2-year-old can play in the grass, a 6-year-old can run a mile, and the parents can get a solid interval workout in!

Play a Few Games of Red Light, Green Light: Kids love this game, and it can take the grown-ups back to the pure joy of being kids themselves.

Hit the (Family) Yoga Mat: Toddlers can (sometimes annoyingly) hop into a perfect downward dog, and a 6-year-old can attempt tougher poses like full wheel or crow. Turn on the music and get a family yoga session going. Studios often have family yoga classes on the weekend if you’d like to expose your little ones to a full-fledged yoga class.

Streeeeeeetch: Catch up with your partner and/or your kids while you stretch together. Pressing your feet against your child’s feet, clasping hands, and gently stretching one another tends to be a real kid-pleaser and keeps grown-ups’ hamstrings from getting knotted up.

Jump Around: Who doesn’t love to jump on a trampoline? Enough said. Just be careful not to get carried away and launch the little ones off the tramp!

Hike Up a Mountain (or a Molehill): Start ‘em young, and before you know it, you’ll be hiking the Appalachian Trail like 5-year-old “Buddy Backpacker” did with his family last year. The key to keeping young hikers engaged? Snacks (bribes)!

Dance in the Kitchen: Kids have no idea how terrible your dance moves are…they’re just happy you’re dancing. Crank up your favorite songs and dance out the day’s stresses while you cook dinner.

Walk the Line: City parks often have slacklines set up, and they’re a great way for kids to work on balance and grown-ups to strengthen their core. Just make sure the line is set pretty low to the ground to minimize risk of (adult) injury.

Paddle into the Sunset: Kayaking is great for families because parents and kids can kayak at different paces and still stay within one another’s line of sight. And wee ones can easily sit on a parent’s lap and learn to paddle as they learn to walk.

Play: There is no rule saying parents need to sit on the park’s edge and gossip while the kids play. What’s stopping you from trying the monkey bars, climbing, and hanging upside down while your kids to the same? After all, people pay for playground workouts these days…

What else would you add to this list?  What’s your favorite way to get your sweat on with your wee (and grown up) ones?

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Paardje #

    My daughter loves to join me on the yoga mat and we sometimes do crazy dances just for the fun of it 🙂 Great article!

    October 22, 2014
  2. Nadine #

    Wonderful post! Reminder to do it all a lot before they become teenagers and “reject” your ideas while they form their own identity. Then (like me!) cross your fingers they re-integrate this amazing lifestyle and healthy base that we have been modeling. Food choices are the same.

    October 23, 2014
  3. Great ideas!! Thanks! We have I Can Do Yoga and Yoga Motion at home and the kids like to do those from time to time. This inspires me to pull them out. We also go to our neighborhood playground and run around the closed off parking lot – with bikes, skateboard and running games.

    October 23, 2014
  4. I would SO do these this weekend if I weren’t 80 million months pregnant – can’t wait for this little one to come out so I can start moving again! xox

    October 28, 2014

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