Exercise ideas to keep the whole family fit

July 28, 2015

For all the adults out there who spend time with children, whether a parent, teacher or volunteer, and would like to teach them the importance of exercise, read on for the  following tips.

Exercise ideas to keep the whole family fit

Waltz with your baby

  • If your baby is crying for attention, don't just stick a pacifier in his or her mouth or go for a drive.
  • Instead, take your baby in your arms and waltz around the room.
  • The more exaggerated and smooth your movements, the better. The waltzing will give your baby new sights to focus on, soothing the crying.
  • You'll burn extra calories and tone your arm muscles.

Design your backyard for activity

  • What you put in your backyard helps to determine how fit your children become. If they see it, they will play. If they don't, they will watch TV.
  • Older children enjoy climbing on ropes or ladders and playing in forts. If you can, get a trampoline, a swing, slide or monkey bars, a net for practising basketball and other outdoor sporting equipment.

Play active computer games

  • Although most computer games exercise only the muscles in the fingers and eyes, a few can produce a decent workout.
  • At the video arcade, challenge your child to one of the dance-mat games where you step on floor squares in the order they light up.
  • At home, consider investing in a gaming console. Fitness-based video games require players to move around as they compete against one another. It's great fun and it will get everyone in the family moving more as you play together.

Create an obstacle course

  • Set out hula hoops, pillows and other devices that you can imagine as "rocks." Then tell your children that the hoops are rocks in a turbulent river.
  • You all must jump from rock to rock to avoid falling in and getting swept away, or eaten by a crocodile.

Play volleyball once a week in warm weather

Set up a net, get a ball and invite other children and their parents over for a game. For even greater fitness, add these rules:

  • When the opposing team scores a point, the other team must do ten additional moves, such as star jumps, push-ups or crunches.
  • Whoever is responsible for fumbling a shot must walk, dance, skip or jog around the court.

Start a ball fight

A large exercise ball can be a great tool for fun games. Follow these exercises:

  • Stand facing your child with the ball between you. You should both grasp the ball at about chest level. This may mean you need to get on your knees depending on the height of your child. Then fight over the ball, rotating it from side to side for 15 to 20 seconds at a time.
  • Stand holding the ball at chest level with your arms extended. Ask your child to try to knock the ball out of your hands by tapping different parts of it from different directions. To really up the ante, try it with your eyes closed.
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