VIDEO: 4 Fun Exercises You Can Do with Your Kids

By , SparkPeople Blogger
This week, when my husband goes out of town for a few days, I'm going to be a single mother. No, you didn't miss anything; I don't have kids yet. But I do have a dog, which is kind of like having a kid. She needs to be fed and exercised twice a day, taken outside for potty breaks, cleaned up after, and watched so that she doesn't put hazardous items into her mouth—so there are definitely similarities. My husband and I typically share the responsibility of caring for Ginger, but most of the load falls on his shoulders. He's the one who walks her every morning while I sleep (tough life, I know), and goes home straight after work three nights a week to let her out again (while I teach fitness classes at the gym). But when he's gone, I'm on my own to wake up earlier, stop by in the middle of the day, and walk the dog again after a full hour of exercise at my second job as a fitness instructor. On those days, I'm a single mother to our furry kids, which definitely puts a wrench into my usual routine.

I know there are far worse problems to have than caring for a loving pet. Unlike a real baby, it's easy for me to exercise with the dog. When I go for a walk or run, I can always bring her as my workout buddy. And if I want to do a DVD at home, she pretty much just lies there watching me, totally perplexed, for as long as I want to exercise. But parents of actual human kids don't always have the same freedom. You can't leave the baby in the backyard while you lift weights at the gym, and you can't bring children of every age with you during a long run on a cold fall morning. You have to make adjustments and sacrifices to your life—and your workout routine. Sometimes when I think about my future life as a mom (hypothetically speaking), I wonder how I'll ever find the right balance of fitting in exercise while caring for kids. Just as I was thinking about this today, I saw a great news clip from our local FOX 19 station that featured four exercises you can do with your kids. Not only are these challenges moves for an adult to squeeze into his or her day, but they're FUN activities that your child will actually enjoy doing.

Check out the four exercise ideas in this video clip below. If you have problems viewing the video, click here to try it on FOX 19's website.

Featuring local fitness expert Mary Beth Knight and her 5-year-old daughter Mazie.

What struck me most about these offerings was that they were creative and child-centered. Rather than a lot of exercises you see geared toward parents, these exercises seem more like child-friendly games that happen to offer good exercise for parents and children alike—not a bad idea if you're a busy mom or dad trying to squeeze in exercise along with child care.

Parents: Has having children affected your workout routine? Do you ever try to exercise WITH your kids? Will you try these ideas?

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I don't have any kids to exercise with, but I can adapt these to something and try them. Thanks. Report
I used to work for a gym (actually 2 different gyms - was at one until I got pg the 3rd time, then quit working... when that baby was a year old, got a job at another gym where I worked until I was pg again)

I worked in the child care - watching children as their parents worked out. A coworker (and now good friend) and I would play with the children - we never had to "workout" at the gym, as our "workout" (aka playing with the children) was the best workout. Lifting them into the air (working those arms), flying them around (different muscles in the arms) Squats when holding a crying baby... ect...

we constantly were working out all day long - if only those parents realized how great of a workout they could be getting in, WHILE playing with their kids!!

I'm no longer working outside them home - instead I am a homeschooling mother of 4. I have made fitness a priority in our families life! We bike together, walk together, play together. Report
My 3 year old and I were doing the exercises while watching the clip. He loved it. We're going to try to do them together going forward. Report
I jotted these down. I can't wait to try them with my 6 year old. He is so active and loves to try new things! Thanks. Report
I have a five year old daughter and after watching this, I can't wait to get home from work and try these fun games with her! I also enjoyed watching the TV host do the crab and the boat. :) Report
My 5 year old daughter LOVES to take walks with me. We go a mile, sometimes two. She calls it our "girlie time" where we get to talk about our days and spend some quality time together while working out :)

I also have her in gymnastics classes and she loves it! She's trying out a ballet and tap dance class next week. She also loves to do yoga with me and can name all the basic poses. Her favorite is tree pose. It's so cute :) Report
I liked these ideas. My daughter has become bored with our walking tape and I was looking for some ideas to get her back interested. I found one which is a timed race scavenger hunt for common items around the house. Great for getting her to run a bit and race with Mom. Report
Having kids changes EVERYTHING about your life. I took my kids to all types of exercise workouts like Martial Arts class, soccer, (they had to do warm up exercise), swimming, etc, so all of them LIKE doing exercise now that they are adults. Report
When my son was a toddler he used to crawl all over me as I did floor exercises. Now as I'm doing stretches, "yoga", or floor exercises my cat crawls under me, around me, and over me. He stays clear when I'm doing cardio. He learned it the hard way.

When my son was growing up (and enjoyed doing things with me) we did many activities. Rollerblading, rollerskating, paddleboating, water skiing, jet skiing, snowmobiling, bike riding, hiking/camping, walking, etc. Throughout his life we added activities. He was always in sports. At least 4 times a year I'd have him on a variety of teams. Always kept him active. Report
These are awesome ideas! I love the tape. This is something we could do on the backporch. My daughter's almost 3 and loves exercising with mama! She gets to play on the Wii with us, she'll try pushups and pullups (cracking us up), and a lot of afternoons she's my walking buddy. Report
My 9yr old loves to ride his bike with me when I go jogging. Thankfully he loves to be outside and go to the park, etc...We also have a Wii and when I am working out with my Wii fit he always wants his turn too lol Report
My 15 year old runs every day and I can't keep up with her so my 10 year old and I ride our bikes together. All 3 of us are trying to learn bellydancing for a fun ab workout. Report
Great workouts I will be doing them with my grandchildren. Thank you for posting this. Report
I am going to try this with my 10 year old daughter. She has been gaining weight due to hormones and emotional eating. This will be great quality time for both of us and exercise won't be boring or have a negative connotation attached. Report
My soon-to-be four year old granddaughter loves to exercise! We dance together to YouTube videos or dance workout DVDs, go hiking taking along her all-terraine jogging stroller for all day hikes, she gets in and out as needed for breaks. The key to active kids is setting the example and joining IN when they ask to go play outdoors or go to the playground.

Yes- mommies and grandmas CAN slide and play on the swings! Report
I will definitely be trying these out. My 8 year old loves to work out with me. We usually jumprope and hula hoop. I'm gonna use sidewalk chalk outside instead of duct tape. Report
I love this! Thank you for posting, I'm going to go buy colored duct tape! Report
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