We all know that exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle but it's not always easy encouraging the whole family to get moving. Enter these brilliant ideas and exercises for kids and parents that are easy to fit into your daily routine and will make your family feel great. Because working up a sweat (no matter how small) as a family is a wonderful way to teach little ones about well-being, not to mention a great opportunity to have some fun together.
So get those heart rates up with one of these brilliant exercises for kids and parents. We spoke to Simon Bubb, managing director of personal training course provider Be A Better You, for some brilliant tips for getting the family more active together. The key to working out as a family is making it fun! What child can resist hunting for treasure or enjoying some friendly competition with their siblings? Enjoy these family-friendly workouts that will strengthen bodies AND bonds.
Crank up the music and get the whole family moving with a dance party! Move some furniture aside in the living room, dim the lights and let the kids go wild getting down to their favourite tunes. Why not make this a Friday night ritual as something to do before settling in for a family movie night?
"Especially fun for little ones, families can create a mini disco in the comfort of their own homes by turning up the radio, playing a movie soundtrack (the Trolls movie soundtrack is a particularly good one at the moment!) or even switching to a music channel on the TV," says Simon.
And make sure you're kitted out for dancing! These George leggings are perfect for dancing, but would also be great for yoga, long walks and running. And this loose t-shirt won't cling to you so great for easy movement.
Use those TV adverts to your advantage
Make a deal with little ones that they can watch their favourite programme but have to do some exercise during the advert breaks. This can be 20 jumping jacks, 10 sit-ups or 5 push-ups - make sure you join in, too!
If you struggle getting your family to exercise then try to turn it into a game instead. A family game of footie in the park or a mini-Olympics in the garden will be so much fun that they won't even know they're getting fit. Discover 10 more ways to get your kids moving here.
Let little ones help in the garden
Children love to get stuck in the mud, so why not teach them about Mother Nature and get them moving at the same time? Let little ones help you sow seeds, water plants and dig up weeds - just make sure you use the proper tools and safety precautions. Extra bonus? Your children might be more likely to eat their greens if they know that they helped plant them.
Go for a pre-dinner stroll
Work up an appetite as a family by adding a short walk into your daily routine. This can be just a quick jaunt around your neighbourhood or a longer walk in the park if you've got time. To make the walk more interesting, turn it into a game by counting how many cats you can spot in people's gardens or trying to find 10 red cars.
"Walking can make a huge difference to fitness levels and can help keep the family more active," says Simon. "Better yet, add in a race to reach a hill top or a park bench to enhance this family workout. To challenge the family and increase the workout, plan a route that includes some inclines."
Remember that if you're walking for a long time that trainers are the best footwear. These George trainers are great for walking around town, and these kids nerf trainers are so colourful that the kids will want to go out for walks every day.
Children love acting as animals, so it'll be easy to get them doing their downward dogs and cobras. Try doing a yoga routine together (there are some brilliant tutorials online) or just encourage little ones to get stretching on the mat.
Make a splash
"Swimming is a great way to get an all over body workout," says Simon.
"It is perfect for families of all ages, allowing everyone to be active at their own pace and to their own ability level. Swimming is a fantastic skill for young children to learn and it also helps develop their confidence in and around water. Why not purchase or borrow swim floats and diving bricks to mix up an afternoon swimming session."
Exercise for kids isn't just important for their physical well-being – it also helps streghten their minds! Give your family's bodies and brains a work out by creating a fun scavenger hunt around the garden or park (or house if you don't mind things falling over!). Ask children to figure out the clues and make sure each hiding place includes some sort of activity (like jump rope or balancing on one leg) so that they can get some exercise too.