If you’ve reached a point where you frequently ask yourself “how can I exercise if I have kids?!”, don’t worry – it can be done, and you’re not alone! Regardless of the age of your children or your schedule restrictions, there are an abundance of ways to combine family time with exercise.
Often, the key missing ingredient isn’t time – it's energy. If you’re struggling to find the energy to fit in an active lifestyle, you might want to look at how you can adjust your daily routine to better suit your energy needs. An easy place to start is to take a daily dose of MitoQ – a cellular health supplement that supports energy and recovery. Once you’ve got that sorted, check out these 20 fun workouts for kids and parents alike – and start building a daily family workout routine that works for you.
1. Family HIIT workout
If your family is serious about fitness, see what your kids think of doing a family HIIT workout. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is not for the faint of heart. It involves quick bursts of aerobic or strength exercises that typically last twenty seconds and are followed by a 10-second break before the next exercise begins. There are endless family HIIT classes on YouTube to choose from that are sure to help you build up your fitness while your kids burn off some energy!
2. Jump rope
Skipping is an excellent way to fit some cardio into your family workout routines. Depending on your family’s preference, you can compete by seeing who can skip the most times without stopping – or you can create jump rope games. “Helicopter” is a classic, where one person swings the rope in a circle along the floor while the other players must jump over it without letting it touch them. Another idea is to have family relay races: split your family into two teams and see which team can skip to the finish line and back first!
3. Wii/Nintendo Switch
If you’re looking for an indoor exercise for kids and parents to enjoy together, and happen to own Wii or a Nintendo switch, problem solved! Home video game consoles provide so many options in terms of indoor workouts that the whole family can take part in. From dance-offs through to kayaking, water skiing and bowling – it's easy to enjoy a full-body living room workout that combines mental challenges with a social experience.
Calisthenics are strength training exercises that are suitable for kids and parents alike. It’s a form of low-resistance training that involves using your body weight to build physical strength. Some calisthenics family exercises to start with for a full-body workout include pushups, pullups, crunches, bicycles, squats and burpees. For a chair workout variation, check out these quick power-up at home sessions with MitoQ Ambassador and former director of strength and endurance for the LA Lakers, Gunnar Peterson.
5. Plank competition
Family exercise sessions can be as quick and easy as challenging your kids to a plank competition. To mix things up, you could add in a side plank, elbow plank and then transfer up to a plank with straight arms. For an added bonus, include some motivation – for example, whoever loses has to do the dishes!
6. Obstacle course
Another way to enjoy some family exercise at home on a rainy day is to put together an indoor obstacle course (outdoors works too, of course!). Use whatever you have available to put this together: whether it be chairs, pillows, washing baskets, hula hoops, play mats, mini trampolines or your home’s stairway! Once it’s set up, time yourselves as you hop, crawl and jump your way to the finish line! If you need some inspiration, watch this video of obstacle course racer and MitoQ Ambassador Rose Wetzel’s impressive DIY indoor obstacle course!
7. Family workout challenge
A great way to get your kids interested in fitness is to let them take the lead in a family workout challenge. Ask them to write down the steps involved in the challenge. From there, it’s their job to train you to complete it! If you like, you can also give them some pointers, such as focus areas (e.g. arms, legs, full body), type of training (e.g. cardio, strength or flexibility) and the timeframe you want to attempt to complete the challenge in.
8. Rock climbing
Improve your upper body strength while enjoying a family day out by taking your kids rock climbing! Indoor rock climbing centers are common and will usually feature children’s areas, beginner’s climbs and rock walls for experienced climbers. Guided outdoor rock climbing experiences can also be found in some areas. Simply type “rock climbing” along with your location into Google and check out your local options.
9. Roller skating/ice skating
Moving on to a leg workout, take the kids roller skating (or ice skating) for a seriously fun cardio workout. It’s a win-win form of exercise that will provide hours of quality family time alongside fresh air and fitness. If you don’t own skates, do some research and see if you can hire some locally.
If the weather is looking good, take your family out for a day on the water and give your arms and core a decent workout in the process. Hire some kayaks or bring your own, not forgetting your life jackets. If you’ve got younger children or kids who aren’t too confident in the water, you might want to opt for a tandem kayak. If your children are a bit older, take your workout to the next level by challenging them to a race!
11. Family sports games
For sporty families, the obvious fun family workout will likely involve a sports game in the backyard. Whether it’s football, tennis, baseball or another family favorite, family sports games are a great opportunity for families to spend some quality time together. If this sounds like you, consider making it a weekly routine – perhaps as a Sunday barbeque activity!
Hiking is an ideal form of family exercise if you’re looking for cardio, nature and adventure. Less-than-keen hikers in your family might be more inclined to join in if they get to have a say in choosing the location, so consider making a list of some hikes to choose from. Alternatively, keep younger hikers engaged with an end-goal to look forward to, such as a picnic or a waterfall swim at the end of the hike.
13. Trampoline tricks showdown
Family workouts at home can be made so much easier if you have a trampoline. Ask your kids to show you (and teach you) their best trampoline tricks and impress them with some of your own. If you don’t have a trampoline, see if you can find a trampoline park nearby – they've become increasingly popular in the past few years.
14. Musical statues
Particularly if you have young children, musical statues is a fantastic way to get your kids moving – in a way that doesn’t feel like a workout. If you haven’t played musical statues before, it’s basically a family dance workout. One person is on music duty while the rest of the family has a dance-off. When the music is paused, everyone must freeze – anyone who moves is out! Take turns controlling the music so that everyone gets a chance to compete in the dance-off.
15. Swimming pool relays
If you’re lucky enough to have your own swimming pool, or have a local pool your family can use, your family’s exercise options are endless. Play a game of ‘Marco Polo’ or split into teams and set up relay activities. These could involve diving, underwater swimming, freestyle, backstroke, carrying team members to the other side of the pool or diving for objects. It’s a great way to get moving, have fun with the kids and encourage nervous swimmers to be more confident in the water.
16. Hula hooping
If you’re not sure how to hula hoop, your kids will likely have a great time trying to teach you. It’s a fun core workout that can broaden into a wide range of activities and routines. While hula hooping typically involves spinning a hoop around your waist, it can extend to an arm workout, leg workout or even a skipping exercise.
17. Playground workout
If you’re looking for a no-fail way to workout whilst supervising your kids, simply take them to a local playground. While they climb, run and slide, you can do pull-ups on the monkey bars, jog around the parameter of the playground and do triceps dips on a nearby bench. Factor in pushing the kids on the swings and maybe a game of tag, and you’ve got yourself a 30-minute workout!
18. Get your kids to choreograph and teach you a dance
Give yourself a little “you time” ahead of your workout by asking your kids to choreograph a dance. It will encourage your kids to get their creative juices flowing and you get a workout out of it– win-win! If your kids need some pointers, ask them to experiment with levels: coming up with movements that are low, medium and high will encourage you and them to use different areas of your bodies - thereby getting more of a full-body workout.
19. Simon says (workout edition)
When in doubt, turn your workout into a game. Begin performing an exercise (e.g. burpees) and say, “Simon says, do this!” Whenever you say “Simon says” before an exercise, your kids must copy you. If you simply say, “do this!” without mentioning “Simon”, and your kids copy you, they’re out. Take turns being Simon and you’ll be sure to experience a wide mix of creative exercises!
20. Kids’ yoga
To prevent injuries and help you and the kids wind down after your workout, don’t forgo a warm down. Studies have suggested that yoga can support children in improving their flexibility, strength, sleep quality and ability to manage their emotions. Surveys have also suggested that yoga can be used to support good mental and physical health. There are some great kids' yoga classes available on YouTube. If that’s not for you, at the very least, ensure you and the kids conclude your workout session with a few good stretches.
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