When families are at home together, it can be tempting to hunker down in hibernation mode. But you’ll all feel more energized and upbeat if you get your bodies moving and your blood circulating.
There are plenty of different workouts and physical activities families can do together — here are just a few of our favorite fun and productive ways to get your whole crew going:
According to Scientific American, researchers have been exploring the relationship between music and exercise for more than 100 years. They’ve confirmed our hunch that upbeat tempos get our bodies moving — and that music can be a major mood-booster. Music can break up the dullness of a difficult workout, making it the perfect cure for tedious chores as well as monotonous days indoors.
If you and the kids start to get lethargic, announce that it’s time for an impromptu dance party. You can also do double-duty with your dancing: When it’s time to fold the laundry, wash the dishes, or dust and vacuum, crank up some of your favorite uplifting tunes. Challenge everyone to show off their silliest wiggles or most advanced dance moves. After just a few songs, you’ll feel the cardio, and it can be a fun way to let loose with your significant other and diffuse some of the day’s stress.
If dance is a big deal in your household, consider signing up for a membership where you can stream dance lessons or dance-inspired workouts. Or, if your little ones need to wind down before bed, turn on some relaxing music and lead everyone in a yoga or stretching session.
Whether you’re watching a classic family movie or streaming your household’s most-watched TV shows, you can turn your binge-watching session into a mini family fitness boot camp. Ask everybody to jot down a few bodyweight exercises on strips of paper and drop them into a popcorn bowl.
When you hit a good stopping point like a scene change in the movie, a commercial break on TV, or the end of a streamed episode, hit pause and get everybody on their feet. Nominate someone to pull three exercise suggestions out of the bowl. Whatever they draw, you can all do them for five minutes apiece.
This is an easy way to squeeze 15 minutes of exercise into your downtime. For inspiration, check out this 15-minute workout recommended by PBS which includes 10 minutes of aerobic activity along with some simple strength and conditioning exercises. Or, pull from this massive list of 42 bodyweight exercises with instructional videos from Nerd Fitness.
Getting out in your neighborhood is a great way to stretch your legs and take in some fresh air. While grown-ups can appreciate the value of a brisk walk around the block, little ones will need some encouragement. Very well Fit advises incorporating variety and simple games into your walks to keep the kids entertained.
Turn your family stroll into a game of I Spy or ask the kids to lead the way using a map or their own instincts. Gamify your walk using simple step counters or digital fitness trackers to see how each family member stacks up. For more exercise, get everybody on bicycles, roller skates, or scooters (parents included!) for an invigorating ride around the neighborhood.
Just make sure you talk to your kids about respecting other peoples’ space on the sidewalk and be sure to follow all of the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines before heading out into the community.
If you have a lawn or patio around your property, get the whole family outside to play! Kids of all ages will get a great cardio workout with a jump-rope. Or you can challenge the family to a hilarious hula hooping competition. If you have more space available, try playing catch or set up a game of croquet or badminton. You can even ask your kids to teach you the games they like to play at recess.
There are loads of backyard activities to enjoy in all kinds of weather. If you’re still getting snow, see who can build the biggest snowman in the yard. When the temperatures start rising, turn on a backyard sprinkler and grab some water balloons for some splashing around in the sunshine.
If you have some yardwork or gardening on your to-do list, enlist the little ones to help. Make a game out of pulling weeds by setting them on a hunt against the “bad guys” in your lawn, or teach your kids how to plan and create a vegetable garden. It’s a science project and outdoor activity all in one!
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