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5 Fun Ways to Get Active With Your Kids

This summer I challenged myself to do something I’d never really tried before, especially not since having kids. I took on the task of exercising regularly, about six days a week to be exact.

I got a Fitbit, started counting calories for the first time in my life. In the process I have lost more than 20 pounds and am finally beginning to squeeze back into my pre-pregnancy jeans. It started out as a test for myself and turned into a legitimate source of enjoyment.

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I have friends ask me how I manage to exercise so much with kids, and the truth is, very rarely are they not with me for my workout. We have a family membership to the YMCA that includes free childcare, but aside from that, I found many ways to include my kids in the workout and get them more active as well.

Here are some ideas for working out with your kids.

1. Mommy and Me Classes: Check and see if your community offers mommy and me yoga classes, or other activities like dance or swimming. These are often offered as classes to take with babies (who can be used as adorable weights). Many times the first class is free.

2. YouTube Fitness/ Dance Parties: You’d be amazed by the amount of workout and dance routines you can find for free on YouTube. I will search the name of a song I like with the word “Zumba” and find a selection of routines we can try. My favorite is to look for fun Zumba YouTube playlists and just go down the list to get a solid 40-minute workout with my kids dancing along in my living room.

3. Jog: This is pretty self-explanatory. Bring your kids along for the jog by pushing them in a stroller for extra calorie burn. If you’re worried about the cost of a jogging stroller, consider looking for one second-hand at a consignment sale or from a friend or neighbor who doesn't need theirs anymore.

4. Bike Ride: This was my favorite exercise activity with my kids this summer, and they absolutely loved it. It almost makes me want to buy a bike and trailer to do this more often. My husband and I rented some bikes and took the kids for a ride around the lake. Both were begging for more when we returned the bikes and were sad to see them go.

5. Fitness Apps: There are plenty of free fitness apps you can download on your phone or tablet. My favorite right now is called FitStar. There are several different free workouts you can choose from categorized by time and calories burned. My daughter gets excited when she sees me pull out my exercise mat and grabs hers, knowing we’re about to get our workout on.

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We also love to swim together at the pool, play tag outside and even boogey down in the livingroom. Sometimes it doesn’t amount to a hardcore workout with kids hanging all over me, but something is better than nothing, and it’s a good example to set for my kids.

Do you exercise with or without your kids? What are your favorite ways to get active together?

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