8 ways to stay fit with kids

Children see what we do, not just what we say they should do. An active lifestyle boosts health and wellbeing for us all. Here’s some dynamic ways to get small people moving with us.

Release your inner child 
Kids love to play. Be a big kid and fly a kite, play ball or frisbee and have a giggle with your little ones. Remember playing ‘Floor is lava’? When you clambered over sofas and furniture in order not to touch the ground whilst getting from A to B? You’d be surprised at how many calories you can burn doing it. Try Household Ninja Warrior, there’s lots of great ideas online but for starters, here’s a challenge: get from the front door to the back door, using only two cushions, without touching the floor. That’s a whole load of bends, squats and jumps right there. 

Get outside 

The combination of space and fresh air is invigorating to all. Simply walking and running around woodland, parks or beaches is a great way to connect with nature, and each other. We can get our steps in and catch up with each other’s lives. Perfect. 

Try Geocaching, a type of outdoor treasure hunt using GPS coordinates on your phone. You find the geocache (container) at a hidden location, sign the logbook and hide it for the next person to find. There’s a vast network across the UK and a simple Google should bring you to a great starting point near you. 

Wheely fun 

There aren’t too many children who can say no to a trip out on wheels. Bikes, roller boots, skateboards or scooters, there’s something to suit every age and ability.  

Make sure to wear a helmet and hi viz if you’re near the roads. 

Team work  

You know the saying, team work makes the dream work. This is especially true with kids who are motivated by being part of a team. If they’re involved in clubs or sports, show up for them, let them see you’re keen to join in and share what they’re learning. 

Try setting each other attainable challenges. You can give feedback and coach each other to get there. Gradually make the challenges harder so that obstacles have to be overcome to achieve the set goals. It’ll give you a chance to model determination and courage, just don’t be a sore loser or throw in the towel. 

Make it a game 

You can inject physical activity and lots of giggles into mundane tasks or sedentary activities. 

Try Movie Bingo: When watching your favourite films, make up a bingo game with exercise tasks attached. For example, every time a certain character comes on screen, do 5 squats, someone wears a red jumper, do 10 sit-ups etc. This game of bingo can be changed to swear word/whingebag/manners bingo, you say a swear word, drop and give the kids 20 push ups, a whiney whinge from the smalls, that’s 15 jumping jacks from them, and if anyone forgets their p’s and q’s, that’s 10 lunges etc. 

Kitchen disco 

Turn up the tunes and dance like nobody’s watching. Dancing is super fun, burns calories and releases feel good hormones called endorphins. You can incorporate strength exercises like rocket squats and jumping jacks too. Try a family DJ session, allowing everyone to pick one or two tracks at a time to keep people boogying on the floor.  

Embrace technology  

Tech like apps and activity trackers can give us lots of rewarding information, from exercise routines to tracking steps and heart rate etc. Lots of kids are motivated by smashing step goals and enjoy friendly competition with others too. Fitbit offers a kids version of their popular tracker, which tracks kids steps, gives them challenges and allows parental controls.  

It’s never too early to inspire your kids to value their health and fitness. Make fun and joyful movement a part of everyday life. Have adventures together, at home and away. Make treats active ones, like a trip to a trampoline park or climbing wall, giving your kids confidence in their bodies is a wonderful thing.