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July 3, 2014

10 Engaging Exercises for the Whole Family

By Matthew Gould

When it comes to exercising, parents and kids alike need more of it. What better way to teach your kids the healthy benefits of exercise, while getting some of their energy out, than with exercises that you can do with the whole family?

1. Take a family walk or bike ride. If you have babies, bring them in a stroller, younger kids can walk by your side, and if you have older kids, take a family jog! If your child can ride a bike, a family bike ride is a great way to exercise and spend time together.

2. Do yoga. With poses like Cat, Cow, Eagle, and Lion, kids will enjoy getting to stretch out and pretend to be their favorite animals. You can do it alongside them and they will be proud to be exercising like a grown-up.

3. Dance. One of the most fun activities for a kid is to be silly and dance. You can play the game where everyone dances until the music stops and then they have to freeze until the music starts again. If your kids are older, you can even try to learn a new dance together using video games like Just Dance and Dance Central.

4. Set up an obstacle course. Jumping jacks, hula hooping, and jumping rope can all be part of the obstacle course, and the whole family can participate.

5. Rename mundane exercises and teach them to your kids. Princess pushups or pirate pushups sound so much more fun than regular pushups. Silly situps and crazy crunches will make your kids look forward to learning these exercises and they will enjoy doing them with you.

6. Try gymnastics. This is a great exercise to build your child’s bone strength, and is fun for the family to try.

7. Check out fitness video games. The Wii and Xbox with Kinect offer games that range from the whole family having to jump on a water raft to guided family yoga. These are great for rainy days when the family still needs exercise.

8. Do backyard team sports. Teach your kids flag football, kickball, soccer, the possibilities are endless. Get the whole family involved for bigger teams.

9. Try backyard racing. It is no secret, from the time they learn how to walk kids are fast. Let them run and try to keep up with them, it will give the whole family a fantastic workout.

10. Go swimming. If your kids are younger they will love kicking around in the pool. If you kids are older and are strong swimmers you can try to have swim races. The pool doesn’t have to be just for floating and lounging!

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