Activi-Kiddies: 10 Ways to work out with kids!
I have been spending A LOT of time going through your posts – pics and videos tagged with @synergeefit or #synergeefit or #iheartsynergee have been popping up on the Synergee social media feeds like crazy!
And I gotta say, the Synergee Team is super impressed with all the parents with young kids that are out there sweating and giving it their all! You guys are KILLIN’ IT! And we want to help you continue getting after those goals!
Admittedly, I am not a parent. But I am someone’s child. And even as an adult, I know I can command the attention of my parents at the drop of a hat. I’ve grown to an age and maturity level where I wield that power sparingly – their love and devotion isn’t something I toy with like I did when I was an angsty teen. But I realize (and am eternally grateful for) how much my brother, sister, and I consumed my parents’ attention, energy, and time in our earlier years. Having kids presents an incredible challenge for parents who are trying to divide their time between caring for their kids’ and their own personal wellbeing!
So what am I – a childless person – doing writing an article about how to work out with kids? I have conducted interviews with some experts – mom & dad friends of mine, dads & moms who work out at our Synergee Fitness facility – to gather a Top 10 mish-mash list of Tips and Workouts for getting your exercise in when you have lil kiddies!
Some allow you to workout with your kids; some are for just YOU – there are a variety of options for getting a workout in while raising your little beauties because, when raising kids, the only constants are change, chaos, and unpredictability, right?! If at first you don't succeed, try another TIP!
10 Ways for Parents to Work out with Kids!
#1. TIP: Dance it out!
Is there anything cuter than a toddler doing their little half squat dances?!
If you want to spend time with your child and get a sweat on, pump up the music and dance! Now, you can just dance hard enough that get your cardio in for a day (Whitney Houston’s Dance With Somebody will help you with that 😉) and let your kiddo dance and sing their hearts out, too!
Or, make up your own workout that incorporates some dance-like exercises: pistols, squats, lunges with a high knee, arm circles, windmills, high knees, and skipping or running in place, can all be sneaky dance moves! You can even use the songs as short AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible) timers!
#2. TIP: Trade 'em!
I’m not suggesting you trade your kids with someone else’s permanently… because that would be absurd, right? Right! Totally! DON’T TRADE YOUR KIDS WITH ANOTHER PERSON’S KIDS!
But what you CAN do is you can talk to neighbors, friends, other people who are looking for some free time, too, and offer to swap 20-60 min of childcare with one another so you can take turns getting in a real workout (and maybe even a nap!). Or, trade off with your partner! You get to workout Mon/Wed/Fri, and they get to work out Tues/Thurs/Sat!
However you work it out, use that time to exercise in your own home, or at a real gym, wherever you can get to! Of course, this depends on who you have available in your support system and if your child is ok with being watched by someone else. But even 20 min of uninterrupted exercise can do wonders!
#2.5 TIP: Can't trade 'em? Share 'em!
If completely trading them off for 20 min of blissful, independent peace won’t work, try getting together with other parents and doing a shared workout/child watching session. You can even alternate and have one parent watch the kid group as the others workout, and switch the next time you all get together! You get to socialize with other adults, your kids get to socialize with other kids, and I’m sure even the adult that’s assigned to the Child Care role will get a sweat on, too!
#3. WORKOUT: Animal Walks!
Bear crawls, duck walks, jaguar crawls, and scuttling like a crab are hard movements to do that can give you a full body workout – PLUS, they are totally fun for kids! Go outside and take turns calling out animals and completing laps moving like they do! Make animal noises while you’re at it for an extra challenge! Try this workout:
50 m Bear Crawl
50 m Duck Walk
50 m Burpee Broad Jumps
50 m Jaguar Crawl
50 m Bunny Hops
50 m Crab Walk
Rest as needed between rounds
Add Synergee Ankle Weights to your Ankles or Wrists for an extra challenge!
#4. TIP: TV workout breaks!
While watching TV with your kid(s), either between episodes or on Commercial Breaks you can throw in a fitness break! The Parents Network suggests you come up with fun names for different exercises – Princess Lunges, Bob the Builder muscle builder sit-ups, or Spongebob burpees, anything that uses their favorite characters and get them to join you in a quick set!
#5. WORKOUT: Nap time!
Sadly, this means nap time for you kid and not you! BUT, while your child is sleeping, it is 100% possible to do an awesome workouts very quietly! Grab a pair of Synergee Sliders and Bands to perform some low impact exercises that result in little dropping, clanging, etc. The only threat of waking your sleeping beauty will be you grunting or swearing!
#6. WORKOUT/TIP: Go for walks!
Walk with your kid! Suggest walking to a playground, a dog park, a garden – a destination they will be excited to go to. You can always add Synergee Ankle Weights to burn more calories on your walks – but always be prepared for the situation in which you need to carry your child back home! But, I mean, more weight to carry = more calories burned, right?!
#7. TIP: Join them on the playground!
Playgrounds can act as an adult's outdoor gymnastics gym! Of course, workout in a way that allows you to keep an eye on your kid and avoid injuring the other kids just trying to have a good time (i.e. I don’t recommend doing burpees around where kids are playing tag… that’s asking for a speedy child to get tripped!). Check out this video from Redefining Strength for some ideas!
#8. EQUIPMENT: Use a jogging stroller!
The new parent blogs are all about that jogging stroller!!
Maybe they’re sponsored ads?
Maybe jogging strollers are truly universally accepted as the most important piece of technology for new parents who crave physical activity?
It’s hard to say. But every blog I came across described them as a godsend. When I talked to Mommy/Daddy friends they also suggested getting a bike trailer to cart your kids around so you can run errands and bike about!
#9. WORKOUT: Flash cards!
If you’re a CrossFitter, maybe you’ve heard of the Deck of Cards workout. Every suit in the deck is assigned an exercise; for example, Hearts = sit ups, Spades = tuck jumps, Diamonds = push ups, Clubs = squats. You take a shuffled deck of cards and reveal a card one at a time to signal what exercise you do; for example, when a 3 of Hearts is drawn, you do 3 sit ups; when a Queen of Clubs is drawn you do 10 squats, etc.
You can use a deck of cards, OR do some arts and crafts beforehand with your kid(s) to create a set of flashcards that depict workout moves/number of reps.
Depending on whether your child can write yet, you can always write or draw different movements you want to do in your workout on homemade cards. Or, choose 4 or 5 colors to work with (they will be like the Suits in the original Deck of Cards Workout); alternate writing a big number on each card, switching colors between cards (this will denote the number of reps you will do); allow your child to decorate the card; and then assign exercises to each color and shuffle up the cards!
Get creative with it! And of course, invite your kid to flip the cards and do the workout with you!
#10. TIP: Kid Coach!
This tip is similar to the last one: let your kid be your Coach! Invite your child to come up with your workout with you, and pretend it’s a game like House or School and invite them to play Coach throughout your workout. Or come up with a creative, silly idea – like give them a camera (fake or real) and play Sports Photographer! You might even get cool shots for the 'Gram - SCORE! The world – and your child’s imagination – is your oyster!
And there are 10 ideas for getting a workout in for all you busy parents! Please share your tips and workouts with the Synergee Community by commenting below – we’d love to hear from you!
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