In addition to fighting the battle of the bulge together, parents have discovered that when they work out with their kids, they have fun, burn calories, and enjoy some quality time.
There are many ways to exercise together, including these seven options.
Charity Runs and Walks
Get exercise, share an experience and raise money for a worthy cause. Most fundraising races welcome family members of all ages. For family-friendly
running events, check out Roadracerunner.com and select events for kids in your state.
This melding of different exercise styles builds core strength and muscle control. Teens enjoy the variety while parents appreciate the strong workout, explains Tracy Friswell-Jacobs, a teacher at the Delaware Arts Conservatory in Bear, DE. “When they are approaching something that’s brand spanking new to both of them, they can get over the embarrassment of screwing up and it’s fun and they have a good time!” says Friswell-Jacobs.
The Delaware Valley has something for everyone who enjoys nature. You can find hikes, biking trails and even boating excursions throughout the region. They are a way for family members to get fresh air, increase their heart rates and appreciate the great outdoors together.
Parents can help their children learn this important skill while also getting great exercise. “It’s fun to see the constant interaction while keeping the children entertained and moving,” says Zeffi Angelikas, director of operations at the Ambler Area YMCA in Ambler, PA.
Unlike most video games that are best played from the couch, Nintendo Wii games are virtual but the physical exertion is real. Fitness, dance and sports games that range from bowling to skiing keep kids and parents literally on their toes. Wii mixes physical activity with a dose of competition and lots of bonding for every member of the family.
This workout style involves stretching that’s easy to learn at any age and is designed to soothe the mind and soul as well as the body. Mommy and Me classes offer a calming, nurturing way to enhance bonding and improve baby’s sleep, digestion & mood. Family Yoga focuses on practicing partner poses, cooperative games and relaxation.
These dance-fitness classes incorporate Latin and international music and dance movements. Kids love the constant movement while they work their muscles and burn calories. “There are few things in life more beautiful than seeing parents and their children dancing together!” insists Betsy Fischer, self-described Chief Entertainment Officer of The Groove Lounge in Voorhees, NJ.
Terri Akman is a contributing writer to MetroKids.