We were at a new park a few days ago and I saw something that made me laugh out loud, and feel a bit of regret at the same time.
There was a mom, dressed in workout clothes, running around like a crazy woman all throughout the playground with her kids (and other people’s kids too) chasing her! They were all laughing and having a great time.
What a great workout that lady was getting! Climbing, running, jumping, ducking, sliding.
For a moment I felt a twinge of sadness that I could not do that with my kids. My knees don’t allow me to walk very well, let alone run. Plus my kids were chasing here. Ouch.
But oh, the freedom in this great mom’s laugh.
I so wanted to give her a high five for being awesome.
Want to work out while playing with your kids? Here are 5 super fun ways to play and exercise at the same time:
1. Play on the playground
Do what you can. I may not be able to run around like the other mom – yet. But I will soon.
As we played at a different park later on, I knew there was more that I could do beside sit on the sidelines. Even being injured, I can still have a good time with my kiddos.
So I got up and swang on the swings with them. I caught them as they slid down the slide – and shocked their noses with the static electricity the slide was creating. I also did a few modified pushups and other random exercises I could think of using the playground equipment.
It was fun and a good workout.
2. Play yard games
Shutting the tv or computer off and kicking the kids into the yard is fantastic for their mind, their bodies, and their health. And you know what? It’s great for mama’s health to go out there with them!
Sure, you can make a complicated obstacle course in your own backyard. If you’re not able to do that, play catch with a football. Play horseshoes or lawn golf.
Being out in the fresh air stretching my muscles feels great and it’s way better for me than sitting around.
Ok, so I’m just as leery about putting on a swimsuit as anyone. But every single time I have gone to a waterpark, beach, or ocean, most people (pretty much all of them) are normal/bigger size. If they can rock a swimsuit and have fun, so can I!
Swimming is fantastic exercise, it’s easy on the joints, and it’s just plain fun. Plus, being in the water with your kids is fun for them too.
4. Get down on the floor and play what they want to play.
You’ll be using more muscles and stretching more than ever. Kids love it when you’re at their level playing what they want to play.
These are the times my kids will remember – when they had my full attention to show me all of their cool ideas and toys.
5. Use your kids as weights
This works best with younger kids, I’m not about to pick up my 11 year old. We would both be injured in that mess and no one needs another trip to the hospital.
But I have a handy 6 year old that loves to ask me to “do workouts” with him. I just lift him up over my head and put him down. Repeat as many times as possible. It’s fun for him and it’s a great arm workout. You could add a squat in there too and BAM – full body workout.
Depending on the size of your child there is a wide range of exercises you can do with them. My kids also like sitting on my feet and wrapping their arms around my legs. I then attempt to walk with these crazy weighted kids laughing loudly.
Kids love to be workout buddies, and they’ll remind you (again and again!) to work out.
I’d love to hear what you do to work out and play with your kids!