A workout does not always mean running and lifting weights. In fact, a workout is something you can do with your whole family! What if we changed our mindset on what exercising and an active lifestyle are all about and made it quality family time, rather than something to be endured alone?
As a bonus, exercise with your kids gives them a foundation for a healthy lifestyle they'll continue to build on as they get older.
Below you will find seven creative and fun ways to turn everyday activities into an opportunity for exercise and family fun.
1. Family walks before or after dinner
Lace-up your shoes and cruise the neighborhood before or after dinner time.
2. Crank up a dance party
Move the furniture, crank up the music, and get groovin’. Choose songs your children can sing along to and enjoy a weekly dance party night. You will be amazed with how many calories you burn while dancing with your kiddos.
3. Sneak workouts in at the playground
Think of your local playground as a fitness center. All those steps. All those climbing ropes and walls. Take laps around the immediate area your kid is running around or, better yet, run around with them. While they are playing, you will be sure to get an amazing workout. Show up to the playground area with a fitness plan. This way you will know exactly what exercises you want to do.
4. Play follow the leader
Jumping jacks, bear crawls, mountain climbers, burpees, squat frog jumps, knee monster lifts, squats, gobble walks, crab walks, the list goes on and on. Make a fun game out of it!
5. Plan a weekly sports night
Examples of this are baseball night, kickball night, dodgeball night, basketball night, track and field night. By mixing up the games you play, you will make summer sports nights something to really look forward to.
6. Walk/run for charity
This is such a great moment to lead by example and give back!
7. Walk the dog
The North American Association for the Study of Obesity shows that dog owners had more fun losing weight and keep the weight off longer than non-pup-owners. Don't have a pup? Volunteer at the local shelter.
Joanie Barr is the fitness manager at the Wilfred R. Cameron Wellness Center in Washington, Pa.
This article originally appeared in Macaroni KID Family Wellness.