Fitness/ Happiness/ Motivation/ Strength Training

Getting Fit With The Kids – How We Make It Fun!

A lot of my friends tell me they just don’t have time to exercise – usually their excuse reason is their kids.  I had that same excuse for many years too.  Then I came up with an idea…

We “play” fitness class.

Reach & Stretch!

Seriously we do – and the kids LOVE it!  When I declare that it’s time to play fitness class (usually when the kids begin to fight), the girls  stop fighting and eagerly run upstairs to get their skinny pants & t-shirts (aka their fiti-ness clothes) on while I wear get my exercise clothes on.  Then we each take turns being the “instructor”, and we play for about half an hour (sometimes longer).  The game lasts longer if I put some music on.

First comes our warm up.
My 3 yo Brooke is first being the leader (because she’s the youngest).  She makes us do jumping jacks in a circle, run in place and generally act silly – I consider this the warm up.

Then we stretch.
Next is 5 yo Sierra – she likes to lead the stretches, but she walks around like Jillian Michaels, putting her hands on us and “spotting” us to make sure we’re stretching properly.  Her favourite move is the splits and laughing at my poor pathetic version of the splits.  I’ve been teaching her other stretches too – like how to stretch our calves, hamstrings, quads, piriformis (butt), shoulders, tri’s bi’s etc.  I find that the girls are eager to learn.

Next we “strength” train.
This is my turn – the moves I do with them has to be simple, as they aren’t co-ordinated enough yet to follow complex dance/cardio moves, so instead I lead them through strength moves – walking lunges in the circle through the kitchen, dining and living rooms, many variations of push ups, planks, wall squats, hungarian lunges…. I generally lose their interest after 1 set, so we then switch to 5-10 min of them leading me through a cardio interval, then we’re back to strength.  While we do the strength moves, my 5 yo, who is pretty bossy, switches hats and becomes Tony Horten, asking me how many reps I’m going to do.

After two sets of strength, we’re all pretty tired, and energized 🙂  I also find that the girls love the role playing and it’s a great way for them to get some attention from mommy.  

Ooops 😮 Gotta go – the kids are starting to fight…  Time for me to play Fitness Class!


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  • Marie @mkopp1
    January 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Love this idea! So simple and my boys would love it! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Janice
      January 19, 2011 at 2:23 pm

      Oh they will! They love being the leaders, playing with mommy (especially bossing her around), and everyone gets some exercise. Some days the game lasts 10 min, some days an hour!

      Have fun!

  • June
    January 20, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    This is a great idea! Not only do you get your exercise, you get to interact with your kids in a healthy way. Setting a good example for your kids is a great way to ensure they continue a healthy lifestyle.
    Love this post!

  • Larry
    January 24, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    What a great idea. I recently finished the 60 day Insanity workout routine with my 13 year old son. It actually made the workouts much more enjoyable. We enjoyed getting into shape together. And, I have to admit, it was fun see how far we could push each other.

  • Kari Moore
    February 2, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    These are great suggestions!!! Thanks for posting!

    • Janice
      February 4, 2011 at 1:50 pm

      Thanks Kari!

  • Heather @ Not a DIY Life
    March 31, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    This is awesome!! Need to try this with my Ladybug!

    • Janice
      March 31, 2011 at 1:15 pm

      Yes! LB would love it! PS – thanks for the Stumble!

  • #UBP11 – Ultimate Fitness Giveaway
    April 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    […] work, I no longer have the time for team sports.  Instead I get my endorphin fix by playing “Fitness Class” with the kids, and by running (usually with a jogging stroller, while my oldest bikes along […]

  • Tips for Staying Fit While Solo Parenting | Fitness Cheerleader
    June 8, 2011 at 7:51 am

    […] the kids. Kids LOVE to move and they LOVE the attention from mom or dad.  I like to play “Fitness Class” with the kids. Some other ideas are to run and push them in a jogging stroller, or have them […]


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