Does it always feel like you have no time to exercise? If you’re like most moms, you're too busy at home and at work to even think about a workout. But guess what: There are effective ways to burn calories with your kids in tow. You can combine important quality time with a fun activity that helps you lose weight and get the whole family in shape.
Easy Ways to Burn Calories With Your Kids
The best way to workout with your family depends on the age of your child. Very young children won’t be able to bike or walk far enough for you to put a dent in your daily step count. And older kids won’t want to play games at the park. So choose activities that interest your kids based on their growth stage.
- Young children. Toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartener's have tons of energy. Why not harness some of that gusto and put it to work to help you meet your fitness goals? Take your kids to the local park and complete a full playground workout while the little ones swing, slide and explore? You can even do an outdoor follow-the-leader session and put your child in charge. If you are house-bound, don’t worry. Simply download a fun, kid-friendly fitness app and workout side by side. Try Super Stretch Yoga, Eat-And-Move-O-Matic, or 7 Minute Workouts with Lazy Monster.
- School-aged children. Kids between the ages of 7-13 are great fitness coaches because they like to be in charge. So take advantage of that bossy nature for your own gain. Give the kids a whistle and have them teach you what they learned in physical education class at school. Or tell them to organize a game of tag with you and neighbors or family members. You can burn just as many calories during outdoor games as you do at the gym. You can also make use of your kids’ school activities to squeeze in a workout. Pack a gym bag and keep it in your car so you always have workout clothes available. Then while you watch your child’s soccer practice or baseball game, climb the bleacher stairs or walk around the park to burn extra calories.
- Teens. When kids get older, your fitness plan starts to matters more – to you and to them. Studies have shown that kids are more likely to stay active and less likely to gain weight if their parents are active. And, as your kids get older, you get older, too. Your metabolism slows with age and one of the best ways to keep it boosted is with exercise. So connect with your teen in ways that are important to them. If they like to hike, schedule a weekly session at a park that they choose. If they like to bike, invest in a cycle of your own and go for a ride together. Take a hip-hop class with your kids or invest in a home gaming system and compete with your crew using games like Dance Dance Revolution or JustDance.
Lastly, remember that you should schedule family workouts just like you schedule all of your other important activities. When you add an exercise session to your calendar and post it in a place where everyone can see it, you send a message to the family that the workout is important. Then you get the benefits of burning calories with your kids and they get the benefit of spending fun, fitness-friendly time with mom.