Expert Advice

3 ways to make exercising fun for your kids

Stay one step ahead of the cold weather with this three-pronged ‘f.a.b’ activity strategy by fitness expert Kat Stanley of RedefinedU.

Have fun with it

Set up a ‘fun zone’ in the home where activities can take place without the kids knocking over Nanna’s vase. The spare room or a corner of the lounge would work well. Here are some ideas.

  • Ask your kids to brainstorm a list of challenges for their own indoor Olympics. For example: stationary long jump, high jump (reach for a line on the wall), plank-off (who can hold a plank for the longest), arm wrestle and push-ups (who can do the most in one minute) .

  • Resurrect old favourite games such as hopscotch, Twister, musical cushions, musical statues and charades – you’ll keep limber and have a lot of fun laughing.

  • Artistic activities involving movement could include full-body tracing, piñata making, ‘centre stage’ (pick a dance style out of a hat and perform it), or find a beginner’s dance routine on YouTube and copy it for five minutes.

  • For younger kids play Old MacDonald’s Fitness Farm using animal actions – hopping bunnies, leaping frogs, frolicking lambs, curling cobras, etc.

  • Got bigger kids? Get them to help you choose 10 body-weight exercises to write on pieces of paper which are placed in a circle on the floor. These could be: push-ups, squats, lunges, tricep dips, planks, step-ups, sit-ups, back extensions, burpees and Superman exercises. Set a timer for one-minute rounds, turn the music on and go around each exercise three times… boom! That’s a 30-minute blast.

Make it an adventure

Opt for a trip. Choose the zoo or an indoor playground like Chipmunks, head to a trampoline park or Inflatable World, go rock climbing, hit up laser tag or splash and swim at the indoor heated pools. For a free option, design a mall scavenger hunt – preferably at a mall with an indoor playground. For example, the hunt could be to find how many shops start with the letter ‘z’.

Be brave

Wrap up warm and head outside regardless of the weather. Go to the park – walk or take the bikes, scooters or roller skates. At the playground, do step-ups, push the kids on the swings in between lunges or use the monkey bars for chin-ups. Take turns picking an exercise to attempt together. Your imagination combined with theirs means there are few limits.

Setting aside 30 minutes a day to do an activity together as a family is not only great for physical wellbeing, but it provides quality time to create lasting, happy memories.

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