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3 fun “workouts” you can do as a family

May 27, 2014 at 5:02 PM ET

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Making time to work out isn't easy. In fact, “I don’t have time” is the biggest excuse I hear from people who don’t exercise. It’s extra hard when you have a family – now that I have my daughter, I can definitely relate. 

The key is to find ways to workout with them! Try these games when you want to burn calories without sacrificing family time. The bonus with these activities is that you’re setting a great example for your kids by showing them you can have fun while being active. 

Stroller Relay

Going for a stroll with the family? Start off walking together. Then, every time you get to the end of the block, one of you runs around the entire block and catches up to the rest of you. Kids old enough to run around the block by themselves should definitely get in on the action. Aim to keep moving for 35 to 60 minutes. (This type of interval training also burns more calories than a steady walk or run).

Hit the Deck

Assign different exercises to each suit in a deck of cards. For example: 

  • Hearts = squat jumps (squat down, quickly jump up, land back down into a squat and immediately jump up again)
  • Diamonds = supermans (lay on your stomach and raise your arms and legs off the ground at the same time)
  • Spades = jumping jacks
  • Clubs = mountain climbers (in a push-up position, bring your right knee toward your chest, extend your right leg back in place and quickly draw your left knee toward your chest – kind of like you’re running in place).

Now take turns turning over the cards and do the number of reps on the card. If you get a 5 of hearts, you have to do 5 squat jumps. Got an 8 of spades? That's 8 jumping jacks. Try to get through the whole deck of cards. 

Breakout!

Watching a show with your kids? Don’t spend commercial breaks lounging. Every time a commercial comes on, do a different exercise. First commercial: butt kickers (stand tall on the balls of your feet and rapidly, alternatively kick up your heels toward your butt). Second commercial: high jumps. Third commercial: high knees (run in place, bringing knees high up to your chest). Fourth commercial: plank. Adjust moves according to your kids’ abilities. They will have fun moving with you, and you'll feel better knowing you're getting a little workout while watching TV. 

Add these to your regular workouts and you’ll never have an excuse to skip exercising!

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