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Training Tips | Youth Fitness

How to Create Fun At-Home Workouts for Kids of All Ages

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, How to Create Fun At-Home Workouts for Kids of All Ages

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The World Health Organization recommends that children between the ages of 5 and 17 get at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. How do you make exercise fun so you aren’t met with resistance while trying to help kids develop a healthy fitness routine? Fortunately, there are quite a few options to consider. Many work for children of all ages, from toddler to young adult.

Making Indoor Exercise Fun

Sometimes it makes the most sense to exercise indoors. If you have younger kids, for example, you might find it easier to limit their ability to wander off. Weather can play a role as well, such as when it is raining or too hot or cold to exercise outdoors.

Whatever the reason, there are many ways to make physical activity fun while staying within your home’s four walls. Here are a few ideas to consider.

  • Hold a dance-off. The great thing about dance is that it doesn’t matter if your child is 2 or 16. Kids of all ages are not only able to “bust a move,” but also get a lot of enjoyment from this type of exercise. Create a dance playlist and hold a competition so each child can show their favorite moves. This is also a good opportunity to teach them some of the styles of dance you grew up with as a child. They can also teach you a few of the latest dance styles, making you the hip mom or dad.
  • Find all the different ways you can do one specific exercise. Ask your child to jump rope for a few minutes every day and get ready to see an eye-roll. But if you ask them to find as many different ways to jump rope as possible, now you’ve inspired them to exercise! Kids are creative, so giving them an activity that incorporates imagination can make it more fun. You can do this with a variety of exercises too. Encourage them to think of how many ways they can modify a squat or maximize a pushup. This also creates a type of ownership over the exercise process, making it easier to stick to this healthy habit.
  • Keep a fitness calendar. Walk into almost any home with children and you’ll likely see a calendar on the fridge. This helps a busy mom and dad remember important school events or better keep track of their child’s schedule. Next to it, place a fitness calendar. Every time your child engages in a fitness activity, have them put a slash mark or star. Set rewards for when they reach a certain number of exercise sessions per week or month. Keeping a calendar helps you see how active your children are. It also encourages self-motivation. If your child is competitive, it may even promote being more active to stay at the same level as others in the home.

Taking Your At-Home Kid Workout Outdoors

If you’re able to go outdoors, the fresh air and sunshine provide added value for the mind and body. Not just for kids, but adults too. How do you make outdoor workouts fun? Engage in activities such as these.

  • An outdoor obstacle course. You can create an outdoor obstacle course with items found in almost any home. Fill empty milk jugs with water and set them two feet apart so your kids have to run around them to get from one end of the yard to another. Add food coloring to the water and have your kids do different actions based on the color of the jug. For instance, if the jug is red, they have to run around it but if the jug is blue, they have to jump over it. Other “obstacles” could include used tires to run through, a two-by-four that serves as a balance beam, and refrigerator boxes that are open at each end and can be crawled through.
  • A neighborhood scavenger hunt. Expand your outdoor workout to your entire neighborhood to engage your children in a fun little scavenger hunt. This gets their body moving while also incorporating some brainpower as they search for items on the list. In a typical scavenger hunt, you would hide items for your child to find. Another option is to put items on the list that already exist within your neighborhood. Have them search for a certain color house or car in the drive, a birdbath with a specific shape, a welcome mat at the front door, or other items you’d normally see at your neighbor’s homes.
  • An out-of-the-box version of tag. If you think back to when you were a kid, you’ll likely remember enjoying a game of tag. You can switch this activity up to make it even more fun. For instance, if it’s hot out, play with water balloons and if you get hit with one, you’re “it.”  Or, have the kids play in teams by having them run after their opponents with their arms interlocked.

At-Home Workouts for Kids via Exercise Videos

The internet is full of kids’ exercise videos, some of which are available at no cost. The key is to find one that appeals to your child and is appropriate for his or her age range.

Some online kids’ workout videos involve increasing their fitness through yoga. These yoga routines include poses that are easy for their little bodies to do. Other workout video options incorporate dance or catchy tunes to make them more fun.

To find free workouts online, search for “fun online workouts for kids.” You can also search social media sites to find fitness professionals you can follow that offer the type of exercise that keeps your kids coming back for more.

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, How to Create Fun At-Home Workouts for Kids of All Ages

Family Workout Options

Physical activity isn’t just good for kids. Getting regular exercise is beneficial for the whole family. Plus, when you involve everyone in your home in a regular workout routine, it reinforces the development of healthy habits.

Every Monday night, hold a family yoga class right in your living room. Yoga offers many benefits for the mind, body, and soul. It also increases self-awareness, a skill that can help your children in multiple areas in life.

Set a different activity on other nights of the week. You can even make these classes up as you go. The main goal is to get the entire family moving. So, give yourself the title of “fitness instructor” and lead your class by doing whatever move comes to mind.

Get your kids more involved in these workouts by having them lead them too. They will undoubtedly come up with some fun exercise classes that inspire laughter as much as they promote fitness.

Even if you all get together to do an online video, at least you’re spending time as a family. This encourages stronger bonds while also creating stronger bodies.

How to Create Your Own Home Workout

To make your kid’s at-home workouts more successful, keep your exercise sessions short and scatter them throughout the day. This allows younger kids to expend extra energy in small spurts. 

For example, schedule one 15-20 exercise session mid-morning and another mid-afternoon. This gives the kids something to look forward to a few times a day. It also serves as a good brain break if they’re homeschooling or taking educational classes online.

Also, include both cardiovascular exercises and strength training in your at-home workouts for kids. This helps improve the health of their heart, muscles, and bones. 

Fun cardiovascular options include doing jumping jacks, playing tag, and dancing. Weight training with a toddler could involve playing tug-of-war with a resistance band. This helps build muscle in a child friendly way. For older kids, incorporate light weights to help them improve their fitness without taxing their growing muscle too much.

Take your fitness knowledge to the next level by learning even more ways to make exercise fun, safe, and effective. The ISSA offers a Lifespan Coach certification program is one to consider. This course teaches you how to develop exercise programs for people of all ages, from young athletes to seniors. Upon its completion, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to create workout routines for the entire family!

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