It can be hard to fit time to exercise in between work and family commitments. An easy (and fun) solution could be to include your family in your workout.
When you combine exercise with spending time with your family, you could discover a great new way to stay fit and have fun at the same time.
By taking part in physical activities as a family, not only will you be spending quality time with your child, but you'll be embracing a healthier lifestyle together - teaching your child the values and importance of exercise and helping you all to feel better in body and mind.
Need a little inspiration? Here are ten ways you and your family can get active together. You'll barely even notice you're exercising!
10 Ways to Exercise with Your Child
Tag might seem like a playground game, but it's actually considered a High Intensity Interval Training workout (HIIT) for everyone playing. Tag is a fun game for all, and you and your children can be as creative as you want to be in making up tag games - from the classic 'Stuck-in-the-mud' to 'Duck, Duck, Goose.' Here are some other you can try.
Turn on some music and dance together, toddlers and children love to dance and it's a great workout. Dance inside if it's raining outside, or head into the garden to take advantage of the sunshine.
Simple bodyweight partnered exercises are great for you to do with your child. See below for some examples.
Exercise 1 - Push up clap: partners, both in push up start position, align themselves opposite to and head-to-head with one another. On the same count, they perform a push up, and when returning to the start position, they each clap one hand together with their partner. This move is fun and auditory, and it requires communication and synchronicity, meaning teamwork.
Exercise 2 - Wheelbarrow push ups: take turns standing behind each other, holding up your legs. You should only be held up by your hands. Walk one step with each hand, and then do a push up. Repeat so that everyone gets a turn. If there are even numbers of you in your family, you could take it up a notch and try a race.
Exercise 3 - Jump rope: play Double Dutch or jump together over the same rope.
If the weather is good, take your workout outside. Pushing a buggy while you walk or run adds resistance, while running after children on bikes and scooters does double duty as a workout for you and playtime for your children. Outdoor running races are another great way to keep yourself fit while including your children.
Grab your bikes or scooters and head out for a ride together on the weekend. Cycling is a brilliant low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by everyone in the family. Remember to wear helmets and stick to safe areas away from traffic.
Take your children to the local park or playground area and use the equipment to work up a sweat. Whilst the children have fun climbing on the frames and jumping across the logs (great fundamental movement development!) you can get some strength training in; swinging on the monkey bars, pull-ups on the climbing frame or triceps dips on the park bench. Or you can push your child on a swing and squat after every push.
Play 'wacky races' in the park with your children. Many children love relay races (especially if they have a chance to beat mum or dad) if you make it fun. Sprinting, side-stepping, jumping, agility challenges etc. make it exciting for children and a good workout for you.
Take a ball to the park and have a 30-minute kick-a-round. Don't worry about rules or winning and losing, just have fun by playing high intensity games like football, ultimate Frisbee or capture the flag.
At home, in the garden or in the park, be creative and add a timer so you record and beat your own best time and have some fun competition. There are some lovely and easy ideas for DIY obstacle courses .
While the children play you can sneak in some swimming laps. When you are with the children in the pool, try to tread water as much as you can, ask them to get on your back whilst you swim, or challenge them to races and relays.