If you have a family, you know how important it is to keep your kids not only occupied, but active. So many of today’s learning and playing options have removed the element of physical activity, and when kids are glued to TVs, iPads or phone screens watching their favorite cartoons, playing video games or scrolling through an assortment of apps, they’re not gaining the full-body experience they need to learn and grow best.
That’s right — kids still need some good, old-fashioned fresh air and activity to stimulate their brains and trigger attention and learning skills, while building strong muscles, bones and hearts. And don’t forget about yourself. Between work, household responsibilities and raising a family, it’s hard to get to the gym or pick up your old jogging habit, but adults need regular exercise, too. An active family is one that is happier, healthier and invested in quality time together.
You don’t have to force the kids into activities to make sure they stay moving, and it’s not as hard as you think to make exercise a priority for yourself. To make sure everyone’s staying active, make working out fun by exercising as a family! You’ll be surprised where you can throw in physical activity — in between dinners and TV shows, during daily routines — and even in exciting ways that don’t feel like work at all. Fit exercise into your lives with fun family workouts that strengthen bodies and bonds. We’ll show you how.
How Much Exercise Do Kids Need?
Physical activity is crucial for growing kids. Not only does it allow them to express their energy and move their bodies, but it triggers healthy brain growth, leads to better in-school performance and prevents childhood obesity, which is at an alarmingly high rate. Children who exercise have stronger bones, lower body fat levels, reduced chances of depression and anxiety and better cardiovascular and muscle systems. Active kids also tend to have healthier adulthoods and reduced chances of chronic diseases like hypertension, osteoporosis and heart disease.
Despite the importance of being active, however, 74 percent of children aged 5 to 10 don’t get the amount of exercise they need to stay healthy. The American government’s Physical Activity Guidelines recommend kids engage in 60 minutes of vigorous- and moderate-intensity activity every day. For the best overall health, workouts should combine different types of exercise that stimulate various parts of the body for the best overall health. Here are the three types of activities your kids should get involved with.
- Aerobic: This kind of exercise involves rhythmically moving large muscle groups to increase heart and lung fitness. Appropriate activities might include running, jumping, skipping, swimming, bicycling and jumping rope. Aerobic activity should make up most of the daily hour of exercise, and kids should include vigorous activities at least three days a week.
- Muscle-strengthening: Exercise and play that work the muscles harder than usual should be part of kids’ routines at least three days a week. Activities like climbing trees, using playground equipment or playing tug-of-war put children’s muscles into “overload” and make them stronger, much like weightlifting for adults. Healthy muscles are important for energy, metabolism and better growth down the line.
- Bone-strengthening: Activities that build bone capacity are also essential to a child’s development and involve impact exercises that promote bone strength and growth through force. Basketball, tennis, hopscotch, jumping rope and running are all appropriate activities for strengthening kids’ bones at least three days a week.
The kinds of exercises your kids need are easy to incorporate and combine, and yet most parents let their children spend an average of seven and a half hours on screens every day instead. Everyone needs some time for relaxation, but make sure your main priority is to keep your family moving! Their health will thank you for it.
How Much Exercise Do Adults Need?
Exercise is important for adults, as well. Like kids, you need a combination of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities of moderate to vigorous intensity, but you don’t need nearly as much. Two and a half hours of moderate aerobic activity or a little over one hour of vigorous aerobic activity should suffice weekly, in combination with some muscle-strengthening exercise at least two days a week. Fitting in a workout can be as easy as some brisk walking, jogging, swimming or dancing a few times a week, but more than 80 percent of adults don’t get the exercise they need.
How to Turn Exercising Into a Family Activity
We know raising your kids is a full-time job on top of your full-time job, so we’ve brainstormed some simple, fun, accessible workout routines for your family. With these family fitness ideas you can do at home, nearby or on the go, everyone in your household will get the amount of activity and quality time they need.
1. Bounce It Off
Bouncing on a trampoline is one of the best ways to build brain activity, get your heart pumping, increase muscle function and circulation, boost the immune system, improve joint health and have tons of fun! You and your kids can play all kinds of games as you jump, springboard your imaginations, compare hopping heights and enjoy each other’s company.
Trampolines are perfect for backyard spring and summer fun, autumn bouncing with crunchy leaves and indoor excitement in the winter. With so many ways to enjoy bouncing, your family will never want to sit still again.
2. Cruise the Neighborhood
Who says exercise has to be planned out and portioned into sets and strength-building activities? Sometimes, one of the best ways to exercise as a family — while rejuvenating your brain and body — is to spend some time outside. For an easy, carefree physical activity you can do anytime, get your kids out the door and onto the sidewalk. A stress-relieving turn around the neighborhood will get you out of the house and out of your head while giving the kids the opportunity to shake their sillies out.
No matter your kids’ ages, you can make your walk exciting in different ways. Walk together as you talk about your day, or play word games like “I Spy” to keep your minds and senses occupied. If your kids would rather bike or scooter, you can follow behind and catch a little Zen time. Babies are welcome, as well! Just bring a stroller.
3. Hit the Park
Looking for outdoor workout plans for your family? If you have a park, playground or walking trail nearby, it’s the perfect place to blow off some steam and get your bodies moving. You and the kids can walk, bike, scooter or skate along trails, play tag or bring balls to get you running around in green spaces or divide your time between nature and play equipment. In areas with both a playground and park, you can let the kids enjoy climbing, sliding and swinging while you keep an eye on them from the track. Community play areas also offer a great opportunity for social development. You can even partake in playground games that are both fun and educational for your young ones!
4. Dance it Off
Exercise can get goofy and fun, as well as active! If your children love music, let them express their creative side by busting out their favorite dance moves. Dancing is one of the best exercises you can do at home — in the backyard, in the basement, even in the kitchen before dinner or the family room before bedtime.
Turn on some tunes and let your silly sides show as you jam together. If you like, you can even try an instructive dancing DVD or show. You’ll be smiling, sweating and laughing as a family as you watch each other wiggle.
5. Shake up Commercial Breaks
If some family TV time is part of your routine, sneak in some exercise when your favorite shows pause for commercials. For a few minutes during every break, get everyone up off the couch and involved in some physical fun.
Wondering how to make working out fun at home? Incorporate a different exercise into each commercial break. Skip around the room, invent silly names for a few quick push-ups and sit-ups, or play Simon Says with moves like marching, dancing, wiggling, hopping and jumping jacks. Avoid the boredom of commercial breaks or create timeouts to make sure the kids mix downtime with a healthy dose of fitness.
6. Join a Charity Run
Get yourself and the kids involved in the community by participating in walks or runs for charitable causes. The exciting buzz of the atmosphere and the interaction with others — not to mention the incentive of a medal or prize — will get your kids motivated. Charity runs are a great chance to make new friends and support meaningful causes while making sure your family stays physically active. If your kids are young, try to choose races with shorter distances so they won’t get too tired. See what charity runs and events are happening near you!
7. Team Up!
If you have a family of sports fans, put your skills to the test by engaging in some competitive family fun! Set aside one or two evenings a week to play group games. You can assemble soccer goals in your backyard, head down to the neighborhood basketball court or hit hockey pucks around your basement.
Get everyone involved in the game, and break into different combinations of teams each time to encourage all kinds of bonding. If you like, you can even try a different sport every week. You and the kids will be hooting, hollering and cheering each other on as you get your heads in the game and forget you’re even exercising.
8. Walk the Dog
Don’t forget about your furry family members! They need exercise as much as you. Don’t just let your dog in and out to do business — use your canine friend as another opportunity to explore the outdoors.
Make it part of your daily routine to take the dog on a route around the neighborhood, down the street or around your local park. You and the kids can take turns holding the leash, choosing different areas to investigate and playing with your puppy. Sneak in some quick cardio by doing sprints. Everyone will love the activity and quality time.
9. Grow a Garden
For families with a green thumb, gardening offers a refreshing way to promote muscle-strengthening activities. Your kids can help with digging, planting, transporting plants and patting down soil. Have them pull weeds, pick fruits or vegetables, rake plots and push in stakes. When the work’s done, walk around a few times and admire a job well done.
10. Take Care of Yard Business
Like garden work, assisting with yard upkeep can be a great way for kids to get active, help with the home and spend some extra time with you. Make your children your special helpers in activities like raking leaves, watering plants, trimming trees and clearing debris. If they’re old enough and you’re comfortable, you can even teach them to mow the lawn, prune the hedges or weed-whack with you. Some fresh air and hard work are invigorating and useful for everyone.
11. Make a Splash
In the warmer months, promote good health and family fun by adding swimming to your exercise list. Playing water games, doing laps, paddling and splashing together are wonderful ways to work the muscles and encourage aerobic activity. Water provides both challenging resistance and refreshing cooling for the body, making for a satisfying, fun workout. Install a pool in your backyard or take a trip to your local lake, beach or community pool to get your flippers moving.
12. Go Sledding
During the winter, nothing makes for a better time than rolling around in the snow — and it’s good for your body, too. Taking the kids sledding is a great way for all of you to breathe in the icy chill, experience a rushing thrill and get in some exercise. Dragging those sleds back up the hill after a good ride is great for your heart and your muscles, as well. Try racing the kids to the top each time! Snowball fights and snowman-building are other snowy activities that’ll keep you moving.
13. Skate Away
If you’re good with balance and easy on your feet, take your family to a local skating rink. With so many ways to move, skating is great for brain, body and bonding. Show off your dance moves on the roller rink, hold hands and skate in stride or have some holiday fun with ice skating. If your kids love it enough, invest in a pair of skates for everyone so you can add them into your neighborhood strolls.
Bowling is another fun way to get out of the house, get involved with the community and learn a new skill that’s good for your body. Take the kids to a bowling alley after school or on a weekend to get their legs moving, their arms pumping and their coordination skills on point. With music, teams, goals and learning, you won’t even have to sell this as exercise, just a few hours of fun. You can set up your own pins in the basement for an at-home version.
15. Row Your Boat
If adventurous is your game, try picking up a new active, exciting hobby in the summer by getting into boating. Take the kids kayaking, rowing, rafting, tubing or waterboarding with motorboats. The water resistance is a great workout for the arms and legs, and you’ll all stay cool in the heat. If you don’t have a body of water nearby, try it out as a bonus activity during your vacation to the lake or beach.
Let SkyBound USA Deliver Your Family Fun
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Reach for the sky with your family exercise goals, and give yourself and the kids a better reason to love fitness. Check out our outstanding selection of trampolines today.