5 Ways for Parents to Get Fit with Their Kids

Fitness Tips

5 Ways for Parents to Get Fit with Their Kids

It's no surprise that a happy mom or dad can often beget having a happy child.

Did you know that one of the best -- and sometimes easiest -- ways to feel terrific and boost your mood is by staying active? Yes, you have a busy schedule, and with a long, seemingly never-ending list of chores, it may seem impossible to get fit as a parent. Fortunately, staying active can be a breeze once you incorporate some simple activities into your daily or weekly routines.

Below are some great ways to get fit while spending time with your family.

Family Bike Rides

If your kids are old enough to ride a bike then think about organizing regular family bike rides.

One option is to wake up extra early on Saturday mornings just to do this fun, bonding activity. If there's some grumbling from the kids, insert a reward like a pancake breakfast or a cool treat once the ride is done. Decide on a route beforehand and be sure to follow all safety precautions: helmets, kneepads, and riding in bike lanes. Weekly bike outings provide your family with something to look forward to each weekend and will become memories to cherish forever.

Home Workouts

Who says an adult workout can't be fun for kids?

Many schools and child care programs include fitness classes or physical education, so your kids are probably more comfortable doing jumping jacks than you are. Dig out your old fitness DVDs and make your workout a family adventure. Even if the little ones are not doing the exercises exactly right, the enjoyment of getting active with mom and dad is worth it. If you don't own any workout DVDs, you can easily find lots of free videos to use online. Just stick to the basics when the kids are joining in and avoid difficult moves and weight training.

Walking the Dog

A fun way for the entire family to get some fresh air and stretch your legs is by going out together to walk the dog.

Put the little one in the stroller and grab walking shoes for everyone else. This can be a short walk around the block or a much longer escapade through the local park. Follow a well-beaten path or discover new worlds. Make stops along the way so that your kids can explore their surroundings.

Cleaning with Pizzazz

Household mess getting out of control? Throw a cleaning party and get some exercise in at the same time.

Divide the family into groups to cover certain areas of the house. One group tackles the living area. Another group does a deep clean of the playroom. You can make a competition out of it: the group that finishes first and has the most spotless space wins a prize. If your kids are too young to clean, turn on some music and shake your hips. Cleaning the microwave won't seem nearly as bad!

Double-Duty Playground

When your children are itching to get outside and play, use the local park or playground to your own benefit.

Sure, parents usually sit on benches and watch their kids from afar, trading gossip and parenting tips.  Instead, use the downtime to get in a bit of exercise. For example, this mom created a full workout for other moms who want to make the most of their kids' playground time. If you're not interested in a full-fledged workout, you can merely circle the park for a few laps while you keep an eye on the kiddos.

What are some ways you work on your fitness with the kids?