Put on a few extra pounds after becoming a parent? Are you constantly finishing your kids’ leftover pizza? Finding it impossible to hop back onto that treadmill or pick up that abandoned dumbbell? Fear not you aren’t alone! Becoming a parent is an amazing and rewarding transition in life but it can come with some unforeseen consequences. Those sleepless nights and jam packed schedules let’s face it, it’s hard to carve out time for the gym, especially when you want to spend time with your kids! That’s where we come in in 2016, bring your workout to you with these kidfriendly activities and sports:
1. Monkey Bars : The next time you pick your child up from the playground, stay for a few minutes and get swinging! Challenge your kids to a spontaneous monkey bar contest while strengthening and conditioning your shoulders, biceps and back muscles. Aim for a “Best out of five” contest and see who can get across the fastest (five times) you’re bonding with your kids and your core at the same time, win win!
Do’s: Tighten your core with each swing, pull with your scapulae (shoulder blades) to avoid injury.
2. Soccer: It’s no surprise that soccer is an amazing cardiovascular workout with all that endless running. The best part you can play pretty much anywhere: playgrounds, backyards, even your neighborhood street can become a mini soccer field. You’ll feel your quads, hamstrings and calf muscles working of course but all the kicking and jumping in soccer will access your “pushoff” muscles (i.e. your adductor and iliotibial band). Guarantee you’ll feel this the next morning!
Do’s: A handful of lunges and a light jog to warm up.
3. Swimming: The numerous benefits make this one a no-brainer: swimming is one of the most joint friendly exercises you can take on with your kids, especially after a hiatus from working out. Best of all you don’t need to do anything fancy, just grab a pool noodle and start kicking!
Do’s: Flutter kicks, Treading water
4. At home conditioning: These are perhaps the trickiest days it’s raining, cold and dreary and nobody wants to leave the house. Take 20 and have an energetic afternoon indoors with the kids. The person who does the most pushups decides what movie to watch, the person with the longest holding plank decides who has to set the table for dinner you get the idea. Get creative and get moving! Aim for quality, not quantity your form is especially crucial when targeting your abdominal muscles. Think: Engaged glutes, no arching of the back.
Do’s: Lunges, Pushups, Situps, Planks
5. Dance it out: Sometimes, the key is to let loose and not think so hard. In addition to all the mental benefits, dancing is a fantastic way to squeeze in some cardio, utilize all of your muscle groups, and best of all, it’s fun. Let each family member pick a song and get silly chances are, you won’t even realize you’re working out with the fun that’s about to ensue. Aim for aerobic, zumba inspired movement. Don’t know how to proceed? That’s okay:
Do’s: Start with some jumping jacks, Karate kicks, Grapevine (Think: middle school square dancing, minus the awkwardness)
6. Bike Riding: Kick your quads and hamstrings into action and get riding with your kids bike riding is one of the easiest and funnest ways to get a workout in and go sightseeing at the same time. Don’t have enough time for 30 minutes of cardio? Don’t worry take 15 minutes and go interval riding, utilizing roads with hills in your neighborhood.
Do’s: Wear your helmet, engage your core going uphill
7. Yoga: Elongate, tone and strengthen while turning traditional Vinyasa yoga into a family friendly activity have each member of the family lead their three favorite poses/sequences. Keep it interesting by swapping out an exercise every yoga session you have together. Group all the poses together into an easy yoga flow, and repeat 35
times. In the mood for building stamina and balance? Hold each pose for thirty seconds before transitioning into the next one.
Do’s: Downward facing dog, Cobra, Tree and Camel poses
8. Group games: Kidinspired games like Freeze Tag and Capture the Flag are a great way to have fun while blasting calories and boosting metabolism. Turn this into even more of a workout by jogging in place during moments where you have to stand still.
Do’s: Cool down stretching for your quads, hamstrings, calves and back