Fun Ways To Get The Whole Family Moving
Between the cold weather and COVID-19 restrictions keeping us indoors, it is mighty tempting to couch surf through this winter.
However, you definitely know the difference in your child’s behavior when they’re happily worn out from physical activity…versus wearing out a groove in the couch.
Staying active has always been vital for kids’ overall health and wellbeing, but it’s more important than ever in these tough times. Movement releases endorphins to help improve mood, energy levels and sleep, and keeps their outlook in a good place. The same goes for older kids, too: New research shows that even light physical activity is linked to better mental health.
With youth sports and gym class on hold, we know it can be tough to coax the youngins off their smartphones. That’s why we’ve rounded up our favorite kid- and parent-approved ideas to make staying active indoors fun and easy!
Your kids will go crazy at the chance to be the leader and guide the family through the drills and moves of their choosing! You can even encourage them to create a fitness instructor persona or character to help them get really into it. Or, challenge each kid to create an obstacle course using cones or household objects to add in some creative cardio.
Have them teach you something
Kids jump at the chance to talk about the things they love, and they get even more excited when you (the adult!) ask them to teach you something. Maybe it’s how to do a lay-up in basketball, throw a spiral, roller skate like the best of ‘em or whatever it is that they’re naturally interested in. It’s also a wonderful way to bond with your child and learn more about them.
This one is the most simple, but the benefits can’t be overstated. Kids tend to feel more comfortable opening up when they’re engaged in an activity side-by-side (rather than face to face), so it’s also a great way to initiate deeper conversations. If you have a family pet, include them in the fun! Family bike rides are just as beneficial, too. Just make sure to bundle up!
Yoga freeze tag
Kids reap all the same feel-good benefits that adults do from yoga. Getting them engaged just requires a little creativity! Here’s how it works: If you get tagged, you have to take a downward-facing dog. To get unfrozen, another player has to do a cat-cow pose beneath you. Feel free to use your imagination and switch up these poses to keep it fresh.
Make “fitness” cards
Have a spare deck of cards laying around the house? Perfect…time to assign a different activity to each suit! Let your kids choose different movements such as jumping jacks, sit-ups or maybe busting a dance move. Whatever the number on the card is is the number of reps. Then shuffle ‘em up and take turns picking cards!
Why not try to squeeze in the double benefit of cleaning and fitness in one heart-pumping session? Capitalize on the powers of sibling rivalry and challenge your kids to see who can get the most done before their favorite song is over. Don’t forget to make it as fun as possible. Perhaps that means hula hooping while sweeping, or seeing who can dunk the most dirty socks into the laundry bin.
Family dance party
If you don’t post it on Tik Tok, did it really happen? Nah, we’re totally kidding. There’s really just so many benefits to getting the whole gang moving and grooving. It’s a great way to shake off stress, torch calories and access the same rush as a runner’s high in a way that’s pure fun…what more can you ask for? Try freeze dance and take turns playing DJ!
Have a Nerf fight
Hey, it counts as cardio…just make sure the most reliable athlete is on your team!
Want More Family-Friendly Inspiration?
For more tips, check out the CA Parents’ Corner blog.
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