Family Fitness Tips to Kick Off National Exercise with Your Child Week
Today is the first day of National Exercise with Your Child Week. If you’ve been having trouble sticking with your fitness routine, getting into the spirit of the week could be the perfect solution!
Don’t have any biological kids of your own? Don’t feel bad! You can still join in on the fun! Stretch the “your child” part of the celebration to include any child.
Maybe you have a fur baby, maybe your significant other often acts more like a child than an adult (don’t worry, I won’t tell him/her you said that!), maybe you can spend time with your friends’ kids or maybe you’re a teacher looking to inspire and get inspired by your students’ energy. Bottom line: whether you plan on working out with your child, your “child,” or your bff’s little ones you can benefit from the week long celebration.
Wondering how to use National Exercise with Your Child Week to jump start your fitness routine? Check out my 5 Tips for Making Family Fitness Fun:
Tip 1: Get into the child mindset: Fitness as FUN instead of a chore!
If you have kids of your own, you know that they are ALWAYS on the move enjoy every minute they spend motoring around. Take a cue from your child’s mindset and start seeing fitness as fun instead of a chore. When was the last time you went to the playground? Enjoyed a game of tag? Played hop scotch? All of these activities count as exercise!
In addition to having unlimited energy, kids have an unlimited imagination. Tap into this and make up names for different exercises or even household chores (because why not get a little work done with your workout?) to make them more fun. Name moves after their favorite cartoon or story book characters or add the adjective “princess” to any idea and take the “work” out of your workout!
Think back to your favorite childhood game and grab your child, significant other, or pet and put some fun into your fitness today.
As long as you keep your fitness competitions friendly, they can be a great way to celebrate National Exercise with Your Child Week. Head out to the track to see who is the fastest in your family. Get a referee to see who can complete the most push-ups or jump rope the longest. Or simply go on a hike together and make the adventure into a scavenger hunt. Competition can greatly increase anyone’s motivation for movement.
The best part of family fitness competitions is that they can extend beyond this week. If your child or “child” is old enough, why not find a nearby fun run and train together?
Tip 3: The “World’s Cutest Workout Buddy” as your new accountability partner
Little ones can be great accountability partners. Whether you want them to help you exercise more or make sure you’re eating half a plate of veggies at each meal, get your kids on board and you’ll be surprised at how good they can be at this job! Later this week I’m going to share one of my favorite activities for creating awesome free accountability partners out of your kids (UPDATE: Post is up! Check out the activity (written as a lesson plan, but useful at home) HERE>>)! But, you can start with this tip today. Even if your kids are too young to help remind you to get a move on, getting active and eating healthy now will help you be an amazing positive role model in the future.
Have a fur child? You’ve probably heard the saying that dogs are the world’s cheapest personal trainers. If the child you’re exercising with during National Exercise with Your Child week is a fur baby, you definitely have an accountability partner there! Try to up the time you spend on your walks or check out a new park to keep things fresh and fun.
Tip 4: Look for family fitness offerings around town
Here in Houston,TX, there are many great fitness options for families. The Houston Public Library is one great resource. They offer baby and toddler yoga, among other classes. Check out the schedule HERE. Another fun idea you might not have thought of? The Houston Zoo offers Zoo Yoga! Learn more about that HERE. Even if you don’t go to the Zoo for Yoga, it can be a great place to stay active. All that walking and hopping like a kangaroo is a great way to have fun with your fitness routine.
If you’re not in Houston, don’t feel bad! Check your local library, community center, and parks for similar programs for your family. If you find something cool, don’t forget to share it!
Tip 5: Dance the night away
Whether you want to teach your kids to rock out to Aerosmith or enjoy some Wii Fit Zumba, dancing formally or informally is a great way to burn some calories while having fun.
If your children takes dance classes, why not ask them to teach you some of their moves? I bet they will be more than happy to do so (just beware-they can be tough critics of your form!).
I hope you enjoyed my 5 tips for fitting in fitness with your child and are feeling inspired to celebrate National Exercise With Your Child Week! If you’re ready to join in, tell me about your plans! Does your child have two legs or four legs? Is he/she really more of a “child” than a little one? Did I miss any ideas? Share your thoughts with a comment below: