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Exercising With Kids -- Tips For Parents
by Lynn Bode
Workouts For You -- Exercise Programs
Making exercise a priority is a challenge for everyone. And for parents it
can be especially difficult to find time to workout because of the full
plates that they often juggle. When summer arrives the juggling act becomes
even more tricky with kids home from school and involved in extracurricular
But, finding time for regular physical activity is so important that it
should be a priority placed on your calendar, just like your kidsí softball
game. A parent needs to exercise not only for themselves, but also for their
kids benefit. Itís important to set a good example. If your children
never see you engage in fitness or if they hear you complain about working
out, then they are going to have a negative image of exercise. Let them know
that you workout to stay healthy, to be strong and to have more energy and
stamina (so you can keep up with them)!
The big question is how to make it a priority that fits in your schedule.
Well, itís actually easier than you may think. With a little planning you
can find ways to incorporate workouts into the time you spend with your
children. Regardless of what age your children are, thereís a way to find
time to workout (often even with your kids)! Here are some tips based on the
age of your children.
Age: Infant through pre-school
∑ Fit in exercise time while they are napping. Try a home exercise video,
walking or jogging (if you have a treadmill), jumping rope.
∑ Occupy them for even 15 minutes with a video or toy while you do some
toning exercises like squats and tricep dips.
∑ Grab your stroller and go for a brisk walk*. Or, buy a jogging stroller
for more flexibility. With a jogging stroller you can walk faster, jog or
even run at a fast pace. And, for veteran rollerbladers, you can even use
the stroller for some skating time.
∑ For younger children, you can use a back carrier to transport them while
walking. This can burn even more calories as the extra weight makes it more
∑ Turn on some music and dance together. Toddlers love dancing, especially
when their parents joins in.
∑ Push your kid on a swing. And, after every push complete one squat.
∑ Use an infant carrier or bike trailer to enjoy a bike ride together.
Age: Grade School
∑ Try rollerblading or skating together.
∑ Spend an afternoon at a park with a playground, but donít spend the
whole time relaxing on the sidelines Ė join in on the fun. Spend some time
swinging to help workout your legs. Try making it across the monkey bars Ė
even just once (itís a great upper body workout and youíll be amazed that
your kid does it with such little ease). Try some pull-ups using a bar on
the playset. Do some tricep dips on a nearby park bench.
∑ Play catch with a ball or get a small group together for a kickball or
∑ Make Saturdays family bike outing day.
∑ Involve your kids while you strength train. Let them count your reps out
loud for you and/or clock your rest time in-between sets.
∑ For pool outings, donít just spend time soaking up the sun. Walk back
and forth in shallow water while your kids have fun splashing about.
∑ On rainy days that force you inside, walk or run up and down the stairs.
You might even make it a contest to see who can finish 5 complete rounds
∑ Register for a fun run (or walk) event and spend time together training
for the event.
∑ Purchase a family gym membership and workout together weekly.
∑ Play tennis or basketball together.
∑ Consider joining a community volleyball or softball team that includes
enthusiasts of all ages.
∑ Donít just sit and cheer your kids at their sporting events. Every few
minutes do some walking or jumping jacks or squats.
∑ Implement a daily family walk each day before or after dinner.
∑ Work together in the yard raking leaves, planting flowers, trimming
So, with all the above recommendations, you no longer have the ďIím a parent
Ė I donít have time to workoutĒ excuse. If you implement these activities
for just 30 minutes three times per week, you can easily burn an extra 450
calories or more! Plus, working out sets a great example for your children
that will teach them at an early age how important (and easy) it is to make
physical fitness a part of daily life. Exercising with your kids also
provides the extra bonus of spending quality time together.
*For a complete stroller workout plan, visit: http://www.workoutsforyou.com/stoller_plan.htm
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About the author: Lynn Bode is a certified personal trainer specializing in
Internet-based fitness programs. She founded Workouts For You, which
provides affordable online exercise programs that are custom designed for
each individual. Visit:
http://www.workoutsforyou.com for a free sample workout and to sign-up
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