Regular physical exercise is a crucial factor in any child’s physical and mental health, but it can be tough for parents to know how to get involved in their kids’ interests. On the other hand, parental input plays a significant role in a child’s exercise and eating habits, so it’s important to find ways to be a positive influence.
Exercising together allows each of you to pursue your fitness goals while providing mutual support. Even buying them (and yourself) a pair of athletic-looking wear, like everyday leggings, is a good incentive to start getting active. These ten simple exercises are easy to do with your children, yet strenuous enough to get in a good workout and make gradual progress.
In addition to helping you strengthen your leg muscles, squats can have positive effects on your upper body strength. Bend at the knees with your feet at shoulder width as though you were trying to sit down, but don’t let your knees move in front of your feet.
Planking is as simple as getting into pushup position, then resting your elbows on the floor instead of your hands. See if you and your tween can maintain the plank for a full 30 seconds.
Starting with your feet next to each other, move one leg back then touch the back knee to the ground. Like with squats, your knees should stay even with your feet.
This classic exercise is great for your upper body, but you and your tweens can start with your knees on the ground if you need to develop your strength.
These are very similar to sit-ups, but involve a chest curl rather than a bend all the way to your knees.
Burpees include a number of exercises in quick succession, starting with a squat then moving directly into a pushup and jump. Trying to do more than a few in a row is more difficult than it sounds!
Side Leg Raises
These are also great for your flexibility and balance, but make sure to keep your leg straight throughout the exercise.
Mountain climbers involve starting in pushup position, then moving one foot up toward your chest. Just like burpees, these can tire you out in under a minute.
V-ups are also similar to sit-ups, except your upper and lower body both come up off the floor. Rather than just bending your torso up, reach your hands and feet up in the shape of a V.
Another exercise that starts in sit-up position, simply hold your feet slightly above the ground and do quick kicks in the air. If you manage to keep your abs tight throughout, you’ll be in for quite a workout.
It’s important to give your child space during their tween years, but making time for activities together will help strengthen your bond and improve your physical health. These exercises are great starting points if you’re interested in working out with your child.