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family-exerciseMake Getting Fit a Family Affair

We all know about the growing obesity epidemic in nations the world over. Perhaps the most disturbing prediction is that our kids may be the first generation to lead shorter lives than their parents. It’s not only adults that are suffering from expanding waistlines. Family exercise is one of the best ways to combat this problem, and working out with your kids is easy, fun and a great way to bond.

Workout with Kids

If you want to burn a load of calories, working out with kids is the way to go. It may seem like more stress at first, but if you learn to exercise the way kids do—by playing—you’ll find yourself working up a sweat without even thinking about it.

Best Kid-Friendly Workouts

So you’ve decided to make family active time a part of your lifestyle, but how can you do it in a way that keeps kids interested? The secret is to keep things light and fun. Workouts for kids need to be less intense that the cardio kick boxing or spinning class you take at the gym, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be effective. Try these kid-approved routines.

  • So You Think You Can Dance: Freestyle dancing is an awesome workout, and kids love it. Make a 30 minute mix of high-energy dance tunes and bust a move with your little ones. The music doesn’t have to be kiddy stuff, as long as it has a strong, steady beat. Try to start and end with one or two slower-paced songs to warm up and cool down safely.
  • Get Your Game On: Video games have come a long way since Mario Brothers we played as kids. Your teen’s X-box, Playstation or Wii is a workout goldmine with the right game and equipment. With the addition of dance mats, balance boards, or cameras, you can burn a ton of calories while trying to beat each other’s high scores. The best picks for serious workouts are Just Dance, Dance Dance Revolution, Wii Fit, and EA Sports Active 2.
  • Playground Burn: The local park is a secret oasis of fitness waiting to be discovered. With a little creativity, you can turn play time into sculpt and tone time. Challenge your kids to beat you on an obstacle course (across the monkey bars, through the tunnel, up the chain ladder, down the slide and around the swings). Use playground equipment to sneak in lunges, dips, chin ups and more. Look at the park through your kids eyes and use some creativity to create a heart-pounding workout that feels like, well, a day at the park.

Eating Well for Workout Success

Of course, all the exercise in the world can’t help you get in top shape if you aren’t eating right. The same goes for your kids. It’s easy to let kid diets slide with easy to prepare standards like chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese or pizza. The truth is, the foods you feed your kids now are the ones they will crave later in life, so do them a favor and add more servings of fruit, veggies, lean protein and whole grains. In the long run, your decision now to make fitness a priority for the whole family will ripple down through generations.

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