Move and Shake: Family Exercise Series

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SEEK brings you three new outdoor activities from fitness expert, Courtney Bentley, to try this weekend to make exercise fun for the entire family!

By Courtney Violet Bentley

The thought of having to combine fitness and children can be intimidating. Kids can find counting reps boring and if you, as the parent, are not finding the activity to be fun either, the idea of being a fit and active family becomes more of a dream than a reality. It’s proven that a family who keeps active and fit as a unit becomes a tighter knit family and these healthy habits will pass on for generations to come.

Promoting a healthy lifestyle and exercise at an early age will set your children up for a lifetime of healthy habits. According to Care.Com when your children exercise they will develop strong bodies, which lowers the risk of injury, improve their cardiovascular capacity lowering blood pressure, keep their bones strong, and decrease body fat creating a steady, healthy body. Creating a healthy and happy family should always be a priority so be sure to include some sort of physical activity in every single day for the recommended 60 minutes.

To get that recommended dose of exercise in your little one’s day try associating the word FUN with exercise. This is easy to do if you play games and put a fun twist on having to do jumping jacks and push ups. Here are three games that will not only have your children wanting to play more but will get the whole family involved and excited.

Animals: No Equipment Needed

Make everyone in the family stand against one wall. The purpose of the game is to reach the other side of the room by listening to instructions. Participants can only move towards the other side in certain ways. Have one person play the role of zoo keeper and name out different animals for the participants to reenact. The best movements are rattle snake where everyone has to crawl commando and horse where everyone can gallop towards the other side. When the zoo keeper says ANIMAL everyone must stop, anyone who is still moving has to go back to the starting line. This game gets the whole family moving their bodies in different ways and seeing people act like animals is sure to keep the whole gang laughing through the activity!

Countdown: No Equipment Needed

This game is a fun way to practice numbers while burning calories and lots of energy. Pick four exercises that the whole family can do such as jumping jacks, butt kicks, squats and lunges. Start with the number ten and perform ten of each movement counting all the way down to one. I have personally found that having everyone count the numbers out loud helps keep everyone motivated and when you hit the lower numbers it becomes fun to see who can do just one rep of each exercise! If someone goes over the number limits make them start over for a fun way to keep everyone engaged and not cheating on their reps!

Dance Party: Fun Playlist

One of my all time favorite games to play is dance party! This game is played by turning on the music, dancing and having one person stand next to the sound system to pause it. My favorite music for kids is Kidz Bop as it’s family friendly but still plays edited versions of the top 40 hits you hear on the radio making it enjoyable for both kids and parents. Bring out some funky dance moves and work up a sweat feeling the groove of the music. Make sure to give everyone a turn playing DJ and stopping the song to see everyone pause and hold the last movement until the music turns back on.

2 Responses to Move and Shake: Family Exercise Series

  1. fun ideas! My kids take karate and they do the animals and they LOVE it!

    • Editor says:

      Susen,
      Always fun to run around and act like a fool! Way more fun then the treadmill at the gym! Thanks for the comment!

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