5 ways to make fitness fun for the whole family!
Being a parent is hard work. Not to mention having to go out and earn a living in between caring for and protecting your little one. Team that with trying to maintain your fitness lifestyle pre-children and you might as well describe yourself as in training to become the next Superhero/ heroin!
Butâ€¦ we persist because it's what we love to do. Being a parent doesn't define who you are, if anything it only enhances your great self and what better way to embrace your new lifestyle than to teach and guide your little ones as to why it is you love your life?!
I'm talking fitness for all the family. Struggling for time to squeeze in a session before the school pick up? Get them involved! Everyone knows you work harder with someone to push you and what better inspiration is there than your very own creations?!
If your school is in walking distance (like most are!), ditch the car, jog to collect your littles and head home via the park â€“ your local FREE fitness facility! Here you will find all sorts of opportunities to get the body moving for both the kids and you.
Think squats whilst lifting your little one high up to tap the swing crossbar â€“ get your little to count out loud for each rep. They will love the feeling of being whooshed through the air and be proud to feel they are contributing
Encourage them to jump high and try and control them on the way down for a great shoulder workout
Try relay races across the park, mixing up the way you travel e.g. lunging, jumping, hopping
Use the nearest bench to perform Tricep dips and press ups. Have little one sit on your knee to increase the intensity!
If there's soft grass nearby, lie on your stomach and lift your bodyweight onto your knees and forearms facing each other. Depending on child's ability you could high-5 whilst holding this position or pull silly faces at each other!
Create a mini obstacle course around the park. Have your child follow you as you step across stones, climb up to slide back down, run around the roundabout, crawl under the swings, climb over the bench etc. let your imagination run wild!
For even more fun, why not get the whole family involved! Outdoor games can start with as little as 2 people and can allow for endless players. Invite the neighbours round and team up for a garden game of dodgeball, twister or something as simple as throw & catch with different objects. Try beanbags, tennis balls, water filled balloons or even just balloons for an extra challenge!
Once the little ones are old enough, try going for a family bike ride around your local village. Make up games to play on the way e.g. eye spy or even little challenges once you pass a certain item or object. If you're feeling creative maybe try making a song about all the things you see!
Mummies, if your little one is too young for this at the minute, try using them as the weight! Baby will love the â€˜free' feeling as they are swinging through the air and enjoy cuddles as you hold them in tight. Try exercises such as squats and lunges hugging baby and planks and press ups hovering over them! This is also a great opportunity for mirroring which allows baby to concentrate on mummy's face in a relaxed environment.
Whatever the task, try and make it fun for everyone! Add incentives such as reward charts with points systems to allow for celebrating great efforts. Children will love knowing their hard work has earnt them a reward such as a certificate or a mini prize.
So next time you're stuck for inspiration on things to do, try exercise! Not only is it completely FREE, you will also enjoy great bonding time with your mini's, improve your fitness and maybe even earn a new skill in the process!
Sarah Philp is a Level 3 qualified Personal Trainer as well as Pre & Post-Natal Fitness instructor and proud mummy of one to her son Isaac. After having her first child, Sarah was keen to bounce back to her fitness lifestyle and through discovering barriers to exercise first-hand, decided that she wanted to develop the concept of fitness for new mums, inspiring them with tricks and tips on how to bond with baby whilst regaining that pre-pregnancy body! Launching the new online pre & post-natal blog, housed on the main Xercise4Less website, providing a platform to show new mums you can still be fit, have a career and enjoy baby too, Sarah shows how you can ‘have it all!’
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