You’re into fitness, and want to introduce your children to this same lifestyle, but they’d rather play. How do you invite them into your world without frightening them? Perhaps you should gear your activities to something that they’d be happy to be a part of. Here are a few tips that may get them moving:
Walk or Bicycle When Possible
Bike or walk to the grocery store, library, or to your child’s school or sports events. Go for a 30-minute family walk after dinner instead of heading right for the television. Take the dog for a walk as a family. Track everyone’s mileage or steps with a Pedusa PE-771 Tri-Axis Multi-Function Pocket Pedometer, and try to add more distance every week. Use a family exercise log or colorful stickers to track your progress. Put your log or chart on the refrigerator as a reminder to keep up the good efforts together.
Hula hooping isn’t just funny and fun; it engages your abs for beautiful belly toning. Studies show that vigorous hooping with a weighted hoop raised testers’ heart rates enough to scorch 110 calories in 10 minutes—as much as running a mile.
Crawl Like a Crab
Walk sideways on your hands and feet with your torso and head facing up. As you and the children crab-crawl around the room, you’ll tone your arms and backs. Once you get the hang of it, have a race! To increase the challenge, find out who can crab-crawl the longest, using only one foot, an exercise game that strengthens the backs of the hips and legs.
Turn up the music and Dance
Dancing has many benefits from boosting your memory to reducing stress. Dance is also a very simple exercise that most children love to do, without even realizing that they’re exercising. Get the children together and offer a dance contest. Make it enticing to them by offering some kind of prize for the last child standing. For rhythmic dances a 160-pound person will burn an estimated 130 calories in 30 minutes. For more intense styles of dance such as the salsa, the number of calories burned doubles to approximately 250 calories in 30 minutes.
You can get a great workout just using your jump rope. Jumping rope for 30 minutes will produce a caloric burn of approximately 300 calories. This exercise also promotes increased cardiovascular fitness, improving blood and oxygen levels to and from the heart and the rest of the body. One added benefit is increased muscle tone in the legs and the lower half of the body.