Remember childhood, when the entire world was your gym? Running, dancing, swimming, climbing, and riding a bike were all joyous activities that conditioned through play.
Getting fit can be fun if you rekindle that childlike mindset once again and find activities that mimic a positive childhood sport. Try some of these simple ideas to take the “work” out of working out.
Movement and Music
It may sound silly, but dancing around your house to music is a fun and creative way to sneak in some exercise. Elevate your heart rate by turning up the volume and moving with your kids. Even better, invest in a small trampoline and take turns jumping to the beat. Shed your inhibition and engage your whole body in the process. Your kids will learn to enjoy movement watching you have a blast.
Run like a Kid
Tag is always a crowd pleaser among kids, in part, because running is innate to us. Kids love to let loose and tear around any open (and sometimes not so open!) space. Marathon champion, Bill Rodgers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Rodgers_(athlete), suggests, “Anybody can be a runner. We were meant to move. We were meant to run. It’s the easiest sport.” Strike up a game of tag and run through the backyard with your kids. Add in some bursts of speed as intervals to increase the physical benefit.
If you love team sports, why not organize a family game of soccer at the park? Grab a ball and go! Designate goals with small portable cones or even just by using rocks. Teach your kids some basic rules of the game and you’re off and running. The average soccer player runs nine miles each game. Your little team players may not log that many, but you can rack up some respectable mileage chasing them around the field.
Always in Motion
Have you noticed that your children are always in motion? They never sit still for very long, and you can learn from their example! Instead of sitting on a bench while your kids play at the park, walk up and down the playground stairs. Add some incline pushups and step-ups on the bench while they are playing. Walk laps around the play area where your children are still in view. Any kind of reasonable movement counts toward your exercise tally! You may just inspire another parent to join in the fun.
Exercise Can Be Fun!
If you can adjust your mindset into one that promotes fun through movement, your workout will come so much easier. Think of yourself as a child in motion and you will look forward to it! Allow your playful children to inspire your workouts through their creative play and move together. Why make a chore out of something that can be genuinely exhilarating and rewarding at its most simplistic?