10 Ways to Get Exercise with the Kids

Image adapted via iStock

So you think you could use more exercise? Don't we all! Have little kids and think there's no way you can fit any exercise in? Well, it's possible, and it can be more fun than you think.

With kids around, it's hard to find the time, and even if you have the time, it's hard to justify the monthly cost of a gym membership or find space for a treadmill at home. What's a mom (or dad) to do?

Find a way to get moving with the kids alongside. Sound too good to be true? Keep reading for some ideas that the whole family can do together, from infants through toddlers and beyond.

Image via Micro – Mobility

Guess what? Scooters aren't just for kids. They come in adult sizes, too! I feel like a kid again on a Micro scooter along with my kids, and my kids delight in having me scoot alongside them. Even very young children can get in on the action with a MiniMicro 3-in-1 scooter that starts off with a seat and O-Bar then converts to a scooter with a regular handle so it lasts through childhood.

If you don't want to scoot yourself, you will still get a ton of exercise running alongside your tot.

Image via Thule

Bike riding is a great way to get around and great for exercise. Don't let the presence of a little one in your life stop you from rolling on two wheels.

Try a lightweight trailer, such as a Thule Coaster, which can be converted to a stroller when you arrive at your destination. Trailers for two are also available! Another option is a child seat that fits on your bike, like the Thule Ridealong, which is light but can hold kids up to 48.5 pounds safely.

If you prefer to ride along with your kids, even very young children can get into the action with a FirstBike balance bike, which can go on a variety of terrains and has been shown to help kids learn to ride on their own sooner. It can be used with a kit for kids as young as two.

{ MORE: Labor Prep: Exercises That Can Help You Get Ready for Labor }


Image via Hasbro

There are many games that are fun for kids and adults that really get the whole family moving. Remember Twister? It's gotten an update with the Twister Moves Hip Hop Spots Game, where players constantly move around to get their feet on the correct colored spot.

Get an optional movement counter to help kids and parents keep track of how much they are moving and encourage them to beat one another's top score. Any kid who knows his colors can play.

baby carrier
Image via Cragmoma

Here's something anyone can do just about anytime: just get out and walk. This is the easiest way to get exercise, and you can even do it with a newborn. To get a real workout plan on walking a decent distance, go as far as you can go and then go back.

There are some tools that can help you go the extra mile. A very sturdy carrier for long walks such as the Thule Sapling Elite is your best bet for carrying a baby on your back while getting your workout, and it's super dad friendly.

Babies and toddlers who enjoy a stroller can ride comfortably in a stroller like the Nuna Mixx that lies flat for naps, can face a parent, and is sturdy enough for bumpy sidewalks, yet isn't bulky or heavy. Or just grab your baby carrier. You probably already own one, and your baby or toddler will love being snuggled against you while strolling.

Image via Exacme

It's true of kids everywhere: they love to jump around! Jumping can also be a great workout. Get in shape with your kids right in your backyard with a large trampoline. When kids are involved, an enclosure net and safety pad are key.

Getting a complete set, such as those available from Exacme, is your best bet, and it's so much fun. A large trampoline is big enough for a parent and a couple of kids and will last for years.


Image via Flickr/ Paul Hernandez

There are still some hot days left. The whole family will get tons of exercise running around the yard shooting each other with Super Soakers or water balloons. The Super Soaker Zombie Strike Splatterblast even glows in the dark for nighttime fights, or try the epic Super Soaker Floodfire, which can be attached to the hose for non-stop spraying while still allowing plenty of room for running around the yard.

{ MORE: This Fitness Trainer Admitted She Couldn't Work Out During Her Pregnancy }

Image via B.O.B. Gear

Going for a run is a possibility without having to ask your tot to keep up with you. A good jogging stroller, like the B.O.B. Revolution PRO, can help you get moving with baby (or a toddler) in tow. Go for a run around the neighborhood or be ambitious and try to run to your Mommy and Me music class.

Image via Flickr/ quinn.anya

If your child can stand, chances are she can dance. Have a dance party or a round of freeze dance with your tot to get in some exercise. It's sure to end in giggles.

Image via Flickr/ Bill Selak

There are lots of backyard games that get kids and parents moving and staying fit. Try these: Red Rover, tag, or red light/green light to stay on your feet and get your heart rate up.

Image via Amazon

If you have the space, getting some backyard equipment that encourages movement can be a fun way to get you and your little one moving. The Extreme Coaster provides not just thrills, but lots of exercise as well.

Kids get moving by running back for more chances to walk up the steps and down the coaster. Parents can get in on the fun by running alongside or waiting at the end and then racing back.


{ MORE: Here's Your Permission To Skip Exercise During Pregnancy }

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10 Ways to Get Exercise with the Kids

Jamie is a Beltway Insider who loves channeling her pre-motherhood love of traveling into spending time exploring all D.C. has to offer with her brood of two girls and two boys ages 9, 7,5, and a baby. She is a reformed lawyer turned full-time kid wrangler who enjoys photographing her everyday chaos and anything salted caramel. Since life is never dull, she loves writing about the issues and events going on in her life at any given time, including caring for a daughter with special needs and th ... More

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