If you're looking for fun, creative ways to stay active as a family on rainy Spring days, take a look at these simple ideas to get moving indoors. From classic activities like bowling and roller-skating to more silly, out-of-the-box options, we're highlighting a variety of exercise ideas for you and your kids. Don't let the clouds keep your family from engaging in healthy habits!
There are plenty of fun, family-friendly activities you can do indoors, so chilly Winter weather doesn't have to leave you sluggish. Sports, games, silly projects — we're highlighting a variety of heart-pumping options to keep your kids moving throughout the season. Steer clear of cabin fever with these active pastimes for kids of all ages!
Kids spend a lot of time sitting in front of screens, so it's important to make sure that they get enough exercise throughout the day. Tiny tweaks to your family routine can have a huge impact on your children's activity level, so try to step back and reassess your habits to get your kids moving. Check out these 10 ways to amp up your kids' exercise patterns and share your own fitness suggestions in the comments below!
Holy cuteness! Now I love Matt Damon even more for showing his loved ones how important it is to stay active by heading out for a family bike ride in Vancouver. When you get moving together, not only do your children learn that exercise in an important part of life, but it also encourages the grown-ups to fit exercise into their busy schedules.
Aside from renting bikes and touring around a new place, there are so many other ways you and your family can get out together and burn some calories.
- If your kids are too young to walk, plop them in a jogging stroller, bike trailer, or backpack carrier and head out for a walk, run, ride, or hike. They'll feel calm watching the scenery whiz by, and you'll get in your workout.
- Rent kayaks or canoes and paddle along a calm lake or river. It's a great way to avoid the, "Mom, I'm soooo hot," comments. If you get overheated, just jump in.
- Put up a net in the backyard and keep volleyballs and a set of badminton rackets and birdies on hand. After dinner, head out for an impromptu game.
Keep reading for more fun family fitness ideas.
I love gardening! It's a great way to spend quality time in the great outdoors and to play in the dirt, plus you can burn some serious calories. Gardening solo can be quite meditative, but getting the entire family involved in yard work is not only more fun, but it's way more productive— my girls love weeding and relocating the worms they find in the process.
Here are a few similarities I see in gardening and gym time:
- Digging holes and turning compost feels like lifting weights.
- Raking feels an awful lot like a rowing machine with some added oblique work with that twisting.
- Pushing a lawnmower is similar to walking on a treadmill but with added upper body work.
- Pruning with loppers is a serious arm workout, especially when working overhead.
- Weeding and squats seem like a match made in heaven — remember to bend at your hips and not round your low back!
Vigorous gardening for an hour burns about 300 calories (depending on your weight and how intensely you dig).
Do you garden? Tell me what you're planting. I just put in two raspberry bushes and am hoping for some sweet berries in Autumn.
If you're like me and always looking for new ways to get active this Spring, think about doing it as a family. Getting moving this Spring does not mean more time in the gym, in fact, it's quite the opposite. Children are like sponges and if they see you valuing TV time over times when you're physically active, they could adopt the same values. So here's a few ideas for getting the whole family moving:
- If your child can still ride in a stroller, go for a lot of nice long walks. Or, invest in a jogging stroller, so you can jog while pushing.
- If your child is able to bike or scooter, have them ride while you jog alongside. You'll both be getting great exercise and enjoying the Spring weather.
- Plan regular after-dinner family walks. My sister and her family go on a walk almost every night and then they have dessert if anyone is still craving it.
- Utilize the weekends to fly kites, ride bikes, play kickball or softball, toss around a frisbee, play fetch with the dog — basically anything that gets all of you out of the house and moving around.
- Find another family to plan physical outings with. When I was growing up, my family always played putt-putt golf one Saturday a month with another family during the Spring and Summer. Not only did it get us off the couch, but we got to engage in a little friendly competition, which I still love to this day.
What ways do you find to get active with your family? I know I am always looking for suggestions, so I'd love to hear yours.
It's great when you can get your kids involved in Winter exercise, but let's face it — they won't have the energy to go out for a long excursion. If that's the case, or if they're just too young to wear skis or snowshoes, you can tow them along behind you.
Check out the Chariot XC Skiing Child Transport System (CTS) Kit ($210). It's a set of Rossignol skis with two adjustable aluminum tow bars and a waistbelt for you to wear. Simply attach this kit to either a Cheetah ($399) or a Cougar ($530) Chariot stroller. Then you can cross-country ski or snowshoe and pull up to two children behind. You'll feel good knowing they're safe, warm, and protected from wind and snow. Plus since you're pulling the extra weight, you'll get even more of a workout. Too bad they're so expensive, but still such a great way to get out in the snow.