School recess is long gone, spring sports are canceled, playdates are obsolete, and it seems to rain every other day! Kids are spending more and more time doing stationary activities like watching tv, online learning, zoom calls with friends, and playing video games. When you are social distancing, it is only natural for exercise to become less of a priority, but now is the perfect time for our kids to reap the benefits of regular physical activity. My kids are happier, healthier, and get along better when they have an opportunity to get some energy out! There are several easy and fun workouts that don't require any equipment and can be done inside or outside.
Here are my top 4!
The Name Game:
This one uses your child's first and last name (you can include the middle name if there aren't enough letters to be challenging). Each letter represents a different activity. They spell out their name one letter at a time and when they are done, they have worked up a good sweat!
This one is probably my favorite, because you can do it over and over and get different workouts each time. All you have to do is write different movements on a piece of paper and fold them up. Place the papers in a bucket and they take turns drawing a piece of paper. Before beginning the workout, decide on a number of draws that will be made by each (or have a time cap) and each one drawn has to be done by everyone.
52 Card Pickup:
Take a regular deck of cards and spread them out on the floor. Take turns drawing a card to see what to do. Each suit is a movement and you do the number on the card. For example: if hearts is sit ups, then the 8 of hearts equals 8 situps. If you want to include face cards, each one is a different movement and you do 10 reps. So if jacks are push ups, each time a jack is drawn, the kids do 10 push ups, regardless of suit. You can either have the kids take turns or everyone does each one for a nice long workout!
Even the most resistant kids can be motivated but you may have to get even more creative. One day I hid Easter Eggs with the exercises written down inside and they each had to find 15 eggs. They loved hunting for the eggs and opening them one at a time to reveal their workout. And of course they cheered whenever their sibling got an egg with burpees written down.
The fourth and final exercise is probably the most simple. You can easily find tabata workout songs by searching on YouTube. The songs tell you when to start and stop while you get to listen to some great music. Each song consists of 8 rounds that include 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. I usually choose 2 movements per song and do each one 4 rounds instead of 8, because my kids get tired of doing the same thing over and over! Some great exercises for tabata include: sit ups, air squats, jumping jacks, push ups, bicycles, mountain climbers, planks, jump squats, and burpees.
These are just a few examples of ways to get kids moving during a quarantine, but I have found the best way is to move with them! So mamas, get your sweat on too!