10 Ways to Stay Active with Your Kids

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It’s so easy to lose yourself in motherhood, to deprioritize your own needs and fall into a rut of not taking care of yourself. Making time to exercise is so important for your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Working out regularly absolutely makes me a more patient, less stressed mom. 

Regular physical activity is not only important for parents, but your kids also need it too! The American Heart Association recommends kids age 6 and older get at least an hour of moderate to vigorous activity every day. Research shows that active parents raise active kids, so modeling this lifestyle will help your kids grow into healthy adults. To help you and your kids keep moving, here is a list of 10 ways to stay active WITH your kids! 

  1. Bring them on your walk, hike or run. You can keep it simple and explore the neighborhood OR use the All Trails app to find new parks and trails. I bring a backpack with a portable speaker to play music I know they like plus snacks and water. 
    • If your kids are younger, push them in the stroller or wagon and search the AllTrails app for paved paths.
    • If your kids are older, take them off the beaten path for an adventure. Search the AllTrails App for a short hike and turn it into a scavenger hunt.  Bring a jar for the kids to collect some nature finds on their walk. I recently went to Fallen Oak Nature Trail with my 5, 5, & 8 year olds for an adventure walk, which took us about 40 minutes in total and everyone had a blast.   

  1. Break out the wheels – go for a bike ride, scooter ride, or glide on your rollerblades/skates.
    • If your kids are younger, chase after them while they learn to ride.
    • If your kids are older, bike/scooter/skate alongside them! Helmets and kneepads are recommended for all 😊

3. Enjoy some calisthenics at the playground. While they are running, jumping and climbing on the play structures, sneak in a bodyweight workout. Try this set or make up your own!

    • 10 pushups, 10 triceps dips on the park bench, 25 jumping jacks, 25 mountain climbers, 10 lunges on each leg, 10 squats – repeat until someone melts down …

  1. Build an obstacle course on your driveway, in your backyard, or in the neighborhood. Grab some sidewalk chalk and/or orange cones and work together to design your own course. Think bear crawls, hopscotch, frog jumps, zig zags, letter to letter jumps, etc. Keep it simple with the chalk or incorporate other active toys like hula hoops, jump ropes, and sporting equipment. Use your phone’s timer and make it competitive – see who can get the fastest time or try to beat your own best time. 
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5. Take a family-friendly group fitness class:

  • If your kids are younger, try a local Mommy & Me class. Here are a few St. Louis-based options:
    • Materra Method – move with your baby in tow, ideal for post-partum moms and their babies.
    • Fit4Mom – workout while your kids chill in the stroller – ideal with babies and toddlers.
  • If your kids are older, look for options where they can join in on the fun! Many gyms allow minors 12+ to workout with a signed waiver. Here are a few options in St. Louis where classes are catered for kids and families:
    • Jump Rope Fitness – every Thursday at Tiemeyer Park in St. Ann, MO. Ideal for kids 5+.
    • Family Yoga at Fox Company Yoga – select dates in Wildwood, MO with kid-friendly yoga, games and meditation. Ideal for kids 5-13.
    • Lifetime Fitness – check out the Kids Studio Classes included in your membership in Frontenac & West County. Options start at age 3!

6. Try a kid-friendly workout on YouTube, a few we like:

    • FitwithFred – quick 5-minute workouts with silly graphics that will have your kids giggling.
    • Cosmic Kids Yoga – kid-friendly themed classes like Super Mario Yoga and The Little Mermaid Yoga will mesmerize your kids with storytelling and movement.
    • PhonicsMan Fitness – created by a PE teacher, these themed “fun-runs” and “would you rather” movements are each about 7 minutes and will have your kids running, jumping, ducking, and more.

7. Break-a-sweat together with a video game workout:

      • Just Dance – Have a blast mirroring the dancers on screen. Available on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 5 & Xbox
      • Ring Fit Adventure – A role-playing game that uses real-life exercises to defeat a body-building dragon. Available on Nintendo Switch. 
  1. Boogie down and have a dance party. This is just pure fun!  Get your kids involved in making the playlist and take turns teaching each other new moves. 
  2. Play sports together. Shoot some hoops, kick a soccer ball around, volley at tennis, do some gymnastics, or simply play a game of tag. Instill your favorite sports in your kids and/or let them boss you around by pretending to be the PE teacher.    

10.  If all else fails and your kids won’t cooperate, find a gym with childcare & bring them with you. St. Louis has so many wonderful gyms & fitness studios. Group Fitness classes are everywhere and provide not only a great source of fitness, but also a source of community for moms. Here are  2 of my favorite gyms with childcare in St. Louis:

    • Burn Boot Camp – Get stronger with their 45-minute bootcamp style workouts for people at all levels. A membership includes free childwatch for up to 5 kids at their 5 St. Louis area locations.  
    • Club Fitness – This locally owned chain has 19 area locations and childcare available at each, so you can easily workout on your own, join one of the 400+ group fitness classes each week or workout with a personal trainer.

I hope this list of 10 ways to stay active with your kids helps you feel inspired to get moving together! Remind yourself that some movement is better than none, so even 10 minutes of exercise can do wonders for your physical and mental well-being (and your kids!). It takes practice and dedication to prioritize your health and wellness, so pat yourself on the back for the wonderful lesson you are instilling in your kids when you model the importance of staying active!

Do you have other suggestions for staying active with your kids? Let’s keep adding to this list!  Comment below!

Xoxo,

Natalie

If want to have more fun with fitness and dine with delight in St. Louis, check out Natalie’s blog at www.fitnessfoodiestl.com and follow her on Instagram or Facebook @fitnessfoodiestl

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