3 Ways to Entertain Your Kids While You're Exercising at Home

Health & Wellness on 07.28.12
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Photo: lululemon athletica via Flickr

Have you got a busy toddler at home that's distracting you from getting anything accomplished? Raising a toddler is physically demanding and every day feels like an endurance event.  I'm usually moving on fast forward to keep up with her pace, often not even ever having a chance to sit down throughout the day. The amount of activity I get with her is often enough to keep me from having the energy to put in a traditional workout in a gym.

While away on vacation recently, I decided we would work out together at home without any formal gym equipment. Not only did this keep her entertained, we had a great time exercising together. I may have created a bigger problem for myself. Now she is encouraging me throughout the day to get up and run with her!

Here are 3 ways to keep your kids entertained so you can get a good workout out at home. Who knows you might even tire them out a bit along the way.

1. Get them moving, too. My daughter loves to do what I do, especially when I do unexpected things like crawl around on all fours chasing after her. I demonstrate different yoga poses, like downward dog, or jump as fast as I can for 30 seconds. Even though she can't do things exactly the way I do, she's having a good time and being active too.

2. Give them a job. Kids can count your repetitions. So what if you do a few extra reps or if you have no idea how many you actually did. They can also hold the stopwatch and use a whistle.  This helps them feel like they are in control, which keeps them engaged longer. The longer they are engaged, the more time you can spend working out!

3. Make it fun. Anything you can do to get your heart rate up counts as exercise and games can keep things exciting for everyone. We like to chase each other around and around and around the furniture after dinner or play a game I invented called sit and stand. You sit down and then you stand up, repeat until the novelty has worn off.

It certainly doesn't have to be complicated to be an effective workout, but it should be fun for all involved. 

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