Does your busy schedule make it difficult to hit the gym or do something active with your kids? Are your kids tied to their phones all the time? If your answers are yes, then you and your family are putting your health at risk. Plus, you’re missing out on the great benefits of having an active lifestyle.
The key to avoiding health risks is setting aside time for some active fun. Here’s a list of exercises with kids that parents can do in the condo or inside the community for a healthier lifestyle.
1. Take a walk around the neighborhood
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The most suitable time to do this is after or before dinner with the family. Even if everybody’s tired after a hard day’s work and tough schedule in school, urge everyone to take part in this activity.
The walk can be around your neighborhood or to the nearest park outside the subdivision. Make these walks fun and easy exercises for kids by coming up with creative things to do while walking. An example is counting the number of houses that have a pet cat, or a pet dog inside or have flowering plants in their garden.
If it’s going to be in the neighborhood, take the stairs going down and going up the condo unit instead of using the elevator. You can also ask your younger kids to count the steps from your building to another building in the neighborhood.
2. Crawling and standing exercises for your toddler
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There are plenty of fun exercises for toddlers, and all you need is to be creative for each one. You can imitate different animal movements and show them to your toddler, such as hopping like a frog or walking like a penguin. Then ask your child to follow suit and mimic your movements.
Another example is performing push-ups. When you’re up, call out to your toddler to crawl underneath. If you’re flat on the floor, your child can crawl over your back. You can also modify other regular exercises to make them easier for your kids.
3. Play ping-pong on a Friday night
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If your home has a provision for a bigger table, play a game of table tennis on weekends or before dinner. This is one of the best indoor exercises for kids at home that doesn’t require too much space.
This is also a fun activity for 8-year old kids and above, especially for teenagers. It’s also a perfect way to introduce them to sports, which can become one of their hobbies later on. If there isn’t enough space at home, you may buy a foldable table, which the kids can carry around and bring to the playground or sports facilities in your community.
4. Do basic exercises such as sit-ups and sit and reach and infuse it with a game
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One of the fun exercises to do with kids without leaving home is doing the basic exercises such as sit and reach and sit-ups but with a twist. Do you still have extra eggs from last Easter’s egg hunt? Put a piece of paper with an easy exercise inside it. Hide them in any part of the house then ask the kids to look for them.
Open an egg one at a time after doing an exercise. To make it more fun, set a time limit when hunting for the eggs, and include funny tasks in-between. Make sure to mark the eggs with the funny tasks to separate them from the regular exercises.
5. Make a dance floor in your living room
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This is a suitable exercise for kids and even for adults. The older members of the family can show off the popular dance moves during their time, while the young ones can take the lead in teaching the latest dance craze.
You can also assign each member of the family to come up with his or her dance moves and teach them to everyone. Keep the volume down, though, if you plan on doing this at nighttime. Clear the living room also by moving furniture pieces aside to make sure it is accident-free.
Online Zumba classes are also one of the fun exercises for kids at home. Make it extra special by getting everyone a Zumba outfit. It will be best to keep it to an hour with two 5-minute water breaks in between.
6. Do the household chores with an active twist
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One of the most difficult house rules for kids to apply at home is household chores. These are always met with grunting and dilly-dallying. Engage the children in doing household chores by including the concept of play.
For younger children, make them believe they are the heroes who need to rescue their toys from being snatched by a witch (that’s you) and from being hidden somewhere they can’t find. You can also play a guessing game when folding the laundry by asking who owns the particular clothes. Then ask the kids to help you fold them afterward.
7. Play a mini Pinoy-version of a soccer game.
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One of the fun games you can incorporate on your exercises with your family is playing soccer using an improvised soccer goal. This can be anything from a big cardboard box or just a line to mark the boundary. You and your children can also try this exercise in one of your community’s amenities for a bigger space. It is also an excellent way for your kids to interact with other children.
8. Join a fun run every weekend.
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Weekend fun runs are great bonding activity and perfect fitness routine for everyone in the family. If it is a fund-raising activity, the better as children will be taught early on to participate in giving back to the community.
Inform them before the event what they need, such as water and towels, what they will wear, and other safety precautions to make sure they’ll finish the race without an injury. Don’t forget to do warm-up and cool-down exercises before and after the race.
9. Include jump rope in your weekly exercise routines
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The jump rope is a useful but secure exercise for you and your family. It is also an excellent cardio workout and doesn’t require too much preparation. To make it more fun for your children, ask them to customize the design of their jump ropes to make it more personalized.
To create a unique one, select a rope made from different materials such as elastic, leather, or PVC. Measure the rope from your chest to your feet, multiply it by 2, and then cut it. Purchase handles from any sports store. To make your DIY jump rope more creative and colorful, you can add beads or paint them with the color of your choice.
Insert one end of the rope to a handle and do the same with the other end. Tie a knot and burn the end of the ropes to stop them from fraying. Then, test the jump rope if the length is just right. You can adjust it by making another knot next to the first one.
10. Involve the children in urban gardening
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If your home has provisions for a balcony or a terrace, one of the simple but fun exercises for kids to do at home is gardening. Children love to play with the soil, and urban gardening can be a good way to introduce them to taking care of the environment.
Even small pots will do, and all the bending and stretching while lifting will help keep them active. This is done during the late afternoon on a weekday or on the weekend.
They can also take charge of watering the plants, and teenage kids can carry the buckets to the terrace or the balcony. You can ask the small ones to bring the gardening tools as long as it is safe for them to carry.
11. Maximize the exercise ball
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You will need an exercise ball and a mat and to perform this workout routine to make sure your child will be safe. If you have younger kids, it will be best to support them while they do the ball exercises.
If you have a toddler, let him/her sit on the ball and bounce while providing support on the hips. For older kids, you can ask them to throw the ball to the other person by letting it bounce on the floor, and the other person will catch it. Do this several times, and you can also come up with different exercise ball activities for more variation.
12. Do your own “patintero” with a twist.
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Another cardio workout for you and the kids is jumping within the lines — glue strips of paper as boundaries on the floor. Then do a couple of sets with varying spaces.
The easy part is the set that has lines with bigger spaces, and the difficult ones are those that have smaller spaces in between. Create rules to make exercising more effective.
Then ask each one to jump between the spaces with both feet together. Make sure that no part of the feet or shoes will touch any lines. You can come up with hilarious consequences if they fail.
13. Hitting the balloon with a plastic racket
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This is one of the fun exercises that young children will enjoy. Balloons are a bit challenging to hit since they float, but the activity is fun and sporty enough for the kids. Have a designated place to avoid any accidents during the activity.
When you encourage kids to exercise, you are helping them avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Health experts have proven this as one of the leading causes of childhood obesity. This can then lead to more health problems later on, such as asthma and diabetes. An active lifestyle means better health benefits in the long haul for you and your family.