The Busy Parent’s Guide To Exercising With Kids

on Monday, 28 November 2011. Posted in Fitness For Family, Exercise and Fitness Written By: Archana Mahendra

The Busy Parent’s Guide To Exercising With Kids

Being a parent, do you find it difficult to fit exercise time into your chaotic schedule? Here's how you can incorporate exercising, back in your life and this time around, together with your kids.

Being a parent, do you find it difficult to fit exercise time into your chaotic schedule? Here's how you can incorporate exercising, back in your life and this time around, together with your kids.

Being a parent wreaks havoc with your routine. Whether you are parents to a new-born, a pre-schooler or a teenager; the urge to find time for your needs will always be suppressed by the necessity to cater to those of your child's. At such times exercising is the last thing on your mind.

However, if you want to be fit and healthy to be able to play together and be there for your children as they grow older; good health is very important and so is the need for you to get back to exercising soon. Also, as parents you can not ignore the fact that, just like adults, kids too require regular exercising of over an hour of physical activity every day. Keeping this mind, what better can it get if both parents and kids can exercise together and add loads of fun to this family regime.

Fitness Trivia:

The percentage of overweight and obese kids and teens has more than doubled over the past 30 years.

Children are on an average spending 6 hours a day doing sedentary things like TV, computers, and video games.

Children who exercise do better in school, control themselves better, and have fewer behaviour issues.

A child, who exercises at least an hour a day, has 75 percent less chance of being overweight as an adult.

Exercise may help prolong your life: people who engage in physical activity for 7 hours per week have a 40 percent lower chance of dying early, than people who are active for less than 30 minutes a week.

Together as a family you can take time out from your busy schedules and try some of these kid-friendly activities with your children. Soon you'll realise how making room for some fun filled family exercise time, benefits your family in the long run.

Exercising with your infant or toddler

Exercising with your infant around will imbibe in the child the importance of exercising from a very early age. You could use the following tips on exercising with infants:

  • Walk as much as you can. Brisk walk when you take your baby out on the stroller.
  • As baby grows a little older, its best to carry the little one in a baby sling on your back as you take your daily walk. The extra weight will help you burn more calories.
  • When in the park, push your toddler in the swing and do a ***squat*** after every push.
  • Dance with your toddler. Put on some music and while your baby dances his own way, you make sure you catch up on your aerobics. It would be a fun- filled fitness activity for both of you.
  • Exercise while your child sleeps. Home videos, treadmill and skipping ropes could be of aid.
  • Squats and tricep dips take just 15 minutes; instead of ignoring them, take out some time as the baby plays in the crib.

Exercising with your pre-school and school going kids:

Children in the age group of 4-10 enjoy physical activity, but in the form of play. Hence one needs to be a little creative with the workouts in this case.

  • Kids in this age group can easily pick up stretching exercises and would love to join you as you do some toe-touching, shoulder and neck rotating exercises as well.
  • There is no harm fixing a 15 minute exercise time for the whole family together where you teach your kids some basic exercises and yoga as well.
  • Go the parks or playgrounds everyday and ensure you exercise while your child plays about.
  • You could enjoy playing a ball game along with your child and his friends.
  • Go cycling, rollerblading, skating or swimming together as a family.
  • On wet or cold days, exercise in the house. You could run up and down the stairs with the child or maybe making him count while you engage in push-ups.

Exercising with your teenager:

Getting teenagers to exercise can be challenging. They often are more interested in sedentary activities like watching TV or playing computer games. You really have to be involved yourself, to push them to exercise.

  • You could get them to watch TV and run on the treadmill at the same time.
  • Play outdoor games like tennis and basketball with them.
  • Make family walk a routine and ensure everyone follows it.
  • Take up a family gym membership and workout in the gym together.
  • Involve them in other family tasks such as gardening, mowing the lawn, washing the car or even house cleaning.

You and your child could soon become fitness buffs. All you need to ensure is that the activity selected by you is fun, so you can count on your child to come back for more.


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