Updated: Dec 7, 2020

Exercise is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle for kids and adults alike. Unfortunately, as most parents know, squeezing exercise into your busy day when you have kids can be a challenge. Working out in the very early morning or after they go to bed is often seen as the only option, and let's be honest, often doesn't happen!

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to exercise with your kids by your side that don't require mindless screen time or paying for child-minding. Yes, you get a workout in while being a fun and engaging parent and modelling healthy behaviour!

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1. Jog alongside them while they bike, scooter, rollerblade, skateboard or run.

2. Jog around a track while they play in the middle, jog with you, or intermittently do both.

3. Do a workout video together. A few good family workout videos include Popsugar fitness, Fitness blender kids and Moe Jones, however most exercise videos will work for kids if they are interested, and can be modified if needed.

4. Do an obstacle course/bootcamp circuit together. Set up stations in your backyard, driveway or a field/park with exercises and activities that you want to complete and fun ones to keep your kids engaged. A few ideas that younger kids might enjoy include jumping jacks, skipping, sprints, hula hooping, hopscotch, jumping over things, popping bubbles and animal walks, which you can do too or swap for more challenging exercises.

5. Have a skipping competition with prizes. You can also add skipping to a circuit with other exercises and activities.

6. Go for a family bike ride. If you kids are too young to bike or unable to go very far, use a bike trailer, tow bar or a child bike seat.

7. Run with a jogging stroller. If your child is one to nap in the stroller, great! If not, make it interactive for them. Point out things you see, have them do a scavenger hunt or search for specific items. Make it interactive and enjoyable for them!

8. Go for a hike or forest walk. Spice it up a bit by doing a nature scavenger hunt or trying geocaching. If your kids are too young to go far, pop them into a child carrier and double your workout!

9. Go canoeing or kayaking. If your kids are old enough to help paddle, great! If not, they can simply sit and enjoy the ride while you do the work.

10. Go cross-country skiing or snow shoeing.

11. Do an online yoga class. Depending on the age of your kids, you can have them do an adult oriented class with you, or, if they are younger, put on a kids yoga video (such as cosmic kids) and modify it to make it more challenging for yourself.

12. Jump on a trampoline. Generally it is not safe for more than one person to jump on a trampoline at once, so use it as part of a circuit. Alternatively, you could go to a trampoline park.

13. Go to a field or court and play a sport such as soccer, frisbee/ultimate, football, capture the flag, tag, basketball or tennis. You could also have races or make up your own games.

14. Go to an indoor rock climbing gym.

15. Head to the beach and go skimboarding or paddleboarding together.

16. Play a fitness board game such as Fitivities, Lunch Box Kids, or The HIIT Game,

17. Play an active video game together, such as Just Dance, Dance Central, Let's Cheer, Nickelodeon Fit or Kinect Sports. While these games are fun, they should supplement regular exercise and should not be used in its place.

What you do and how you modify it really depends on the age of your children and how eager they are to participate. It might take some trial and error! Find something that works for you and your family and make it routine. Families that exercise together stay together!

Have another idea? Leave a comment and let me know!

17 Ideas to Exercise Alongside Your Kids

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