Don't Let The Kids Stop You Being Active - Ways To Exercise As A Family!
By Andy Pilides
With the delightful news which recently broke of the Duchess of Cambridge expecting her third child and the number of questions I get asked relating to fitness with the family, I thought it would be a great idea to get down on paper some excellent ways in which you can stay fit and healthy without the excuse of 'I have to look after the little ones!'
Below are some ways in which you could incorporate some exercise whilst including the kids:
1. Walking Around Dinner Time - Going for a walk pre or post dinner can be a significant way in which you can lose weight without being too strenuous. It's also the easiest way to get the kids moving and staying active. 10,000 steps a day is said to help burn around 500 calories. A walk around dinnertime is a perfect way to contribute towards this figure and you can easily take the youngsters too. Let's face it, it's getting them out and moving instead of stuck in front of the TV or computer with food they shouldn't be eating.
2. Turn The Gardening Into Activities - If you have the privilege of having a garden then don't leave it un-kept! Work it! Get the kids working and turn little chores around the garden into activities. This is a perfect way to keep them active and build up their strength. It's also a great way to keep fit whilst organising your crops. Turn over the vegetable patch, plant the pot plants, water the flowers and mow the lawn, these are all activities which will be pushing you out of your resting comfort zone. Encouraging the children to plant, grow and nurture their own fruit and vegetables is also a fantastic way of expanding their knowledge of food and culture. My grandmother has been gardening and farming all her life. She is well into her 80's and is as fit as a fiddle. Who needs the gym anyway?
3. Have Weekly Sport Nights - A weekly sport night or even a weekend sport day is a perfect chance for the kids to build on their competitive spirits and sportsmanship. It's not only a fantastic way for them to interact with other children but also to exercise and have fun in some lighthearted competitions. Similarly, it's the perfect way in which you can join in the fun; be that coaching the kids or officiating some of the games. This gets you moving and helps you stay on track with family time.
4. Walk The Dog - Going for a walk can sometimes be off-putting, especially after a long hard day working or looking after the kids. A dog can be the perfect companion and accountability marker to ensure you go for your walks. The kids tend to love their pets too so a daily walk with the dog and kids will soon follow.
5. Stick The Music On And Dance - Bieber fever, or some pepper pig theme tunes- the kids love it. Listen to music and dance away with the children, make your living room the new dance floor. Before you know it you'll be panting and the heart will be getting some much needed cardio training. Let's face it; it beats slaving over a treadmill. Time flies when you're having fun!
6. Turn Your Favourite Gym Routine Into A Bodyweight Workout - Push-ups, planks, squats and burpees can all be done using just your body weight. Challenge the kids and see if they can beat you. Children love competition, especially whens it's against mum and dad, and so this could also help push you into working out harder in your home using some of your favourite gym exercises - it's also free. Set a family leaderboard and watch everyone work out against each other.
7. Kids' Yoga - Tying in with the above point, if you're someone who prefers the softer approach to exercise, why not try some yoga. Children are often the most flexible out of all of us and so challenging them into some occasional demanding shapes required in yoga, can be fun to watch. It may even push you to increase your flexibility which will inevitably keep you staying pain-free and healthy.