7 Fun Kids Activities that Get Grownups Fit, Fast

7 Fun Kids Activities that Get Grownups Fit, Fast

When was the last time you jumped rope or climbed a tree? It’s time to start it up again!

By Lorraine Allen

Remember the energy and stamina you had, as a kid? Remember running, playing, skipping, biking, and jumping, non-stop? You probably felt pretty great, never needing to tell yourself, “I should really schedule in some time to exercise. It would be good for my body and mind!” Kids are so full of life and energy in part because they are young. But it’s also because they enjoy being active.

They skip over sidewalk cracks and climb any tree, ladder, or pole they see. They pedal as fast as possible on their bikes to their friends’ houses. They throw and kick balls back and forth, just because they can. It can feel exceedingly hard for adults to find time to hit the gym regularly, get on the treadmill, resolve to ride that stationary bike, or lift those weights—but that’s only because it’s not any fun, for many of us. If we take some inspiration from our kids, though, we can get fit and stay fit, while having a great time, too. Here’s how:

1. Ride your bike. Ride to your friend’s house or around the neighborhood a few times a week. If you have trails near your house, try biking those on weekends for a change of pace and scenery, with an added physical challenge.

2. Climb a tree. It’s not just for squirrels, and although it’s a bit harder to feel nimble as we age, the view from a branch never changes, and it’s still just as great as when we were eight. (Trust me, I just did this. And I didn’t want to come down!)

3. Head to the playground. Swing on the monkey bars, or use them to practice pull-ups and chin-ups. The kids will think you’re really cool, and you can build some serious upper-body strength here.

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4. Race your kids. This sounds silly, but they’ll love it, and research shows that quick, all-out bursts of exercise are really promote heart health and circulation. Plus, you’ll get a a serious boost of fresh energy from sprinting for even just 15 to 30 seconds!


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5. Jump rope. Your kids are sure to have one handy, and although they might out-jump you at first, you can build up stamina, and crucial bone mass and muscle, hopping happily away.

6. Hand stands. These are all the rage in trendy cross-training gyms. Use a wall to help you find your balance at first, and work your way up to walking upside down across your living room floor. The world looks pretty funny from this angle, and you can amuse your kids while you get stronger.

7. Jumping jacks. No special props needed for this move. Put on some energizing music and jump away, in just minutes a day, to better health.

How do you enjoy getting exercise and staying fit?

Lorraine is a freelance parenting and food writer, and she shares her cooking adventures and family recipes at MixPlayEat.com. She lives in New York with her family and one squirrel-obsessed dog. Follow her @feedingLina.

Image ©iStock.com/warrengoldswain

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