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Our Favourite Tips On Working Out With Children

It can be hard to fit in time to work out between work and family commitments - one solution could be to include your family in your workout


As adults we make a conscious effort to train for the sporty goals in our lives. Training can seem like a solitary task, but getting the whole family involved can be easier and more motivating than you think.

Be realistic, your children aren't going to join you for a full marathon, but many events boast a family fun race alongside the main attraction, so there are lots of ways to get them involved.

We asked the team at Fit For Sport for their tips on involving your children in your workout.

Top 10 tips on training with your children

1. Play Tag 

Tag might seem like a playground game, but it's actually considered a High Intensity Interval Training workout (HIIT) for everyone playing. Tag is a fun game for all, and you and your children can be as creative as you want to be in making up tag games - from the classic 'Stuck-in-the-mud' to A Fit For Sport favourite - 'Banana Tag'!

2. Dance around

Turn on some music and dance together, toddlers and children love to dance and it's a great workout.

3. Do Partner Exercises

Simple bodyweight partner exercises are great for parents and children training together. See below for some examples.

Exercise 1 - Pushup clap: Partners, both in pushup start position, align themselves opposite to and head-to-head with one another. On the same count, they perform a pushup, and when returning to the start position, they each clap one hand together with their partner. This move is fun and auditory, and it requires communication and synchronicity, meaning teamwork!

Exercise 2 - Wheelbarrow pushups: Have someone stand behind you, holding up your legs. You should only be held up by your hands. Walk one step with each hand, and then do a pushup. Repeat for further repetitions.

Exercise 3 - Jump rope: Play Double Dutch or jump together over the same rope.

4. Get outside

If the weather is good, take your workout outside. Pushing a stroller or buggy while you walk or run adds resistance, while running after children on bikes and scooters does double duty as a workout for you and playtime for your children. Outdoor running races are another great way to keep yourself fit while including your children.

5. Make Sundays a family bicycle day

Go biking together on the weekend - bikes are great for low-impact exercise. Remember to wear a helmet!

6. Hit the park playground

Take your children to the local park or playground area and use the equipment to train! Whilst the children have fun climbing on the frames and jumping across the logs (great fundamental movement development!) you can get some strength training in; swinging on the monkey bars, pull-ups on the climbing frame or tricep dips on the park bench. Or you can push your child on a swing and squat after every push!

7. Wacky races in the park

Play 'wacky races' in the park with your children. Children love relay races (especially if they have a chance to beat mum or dad!) if you make it fun. Sprinting, side-stepping, jumping, agility challenges etc. make it fun for children and a good workout for you.

8. Enjoy non-structured sport

Take a ball to the park and have a 30 minute kick-a-round. Don't worry about rules or winning and losing, just have fun by playing high intensity games like football, ultimate Frisbee or capture the flag - you'll all have fun and is a great workout!

9. Create an obstacle course

At home, in the garden or in the park - be creative and add a timer so you record and beat your own best time and have some fun competition!

10. Take the family swimming

While the children play you can sneak in some swimming laps. When you are with the children in the pool, try to tread water as much as you can, ask them to get on your back whilst you swim, or challenge them to races and relays!

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