Getting a good workout is a challenge when you have kids. I take it back. It can be a challenge no matter what. The truth is that working out gives you more energy and sends a positive message to your kids. Your kids will also highly benefit from exercise, giving them a lifelong desire for health and wellness.

Here are 7 ways to bond with your kids while getting a workout in:

  1. Go for a bike ride. Start your kid off on a balance bike. Some balance bikes, also called gliders, are small enough for an 18 month old and can be adjusted up to fit a 5 year old. These bikes have no pedals, no training wheels, and kids can start biking (or gliding) on the first day. They learn how to balance and steer before they use pedals, and have an easier time transitioning to a regular bike. If you have a smaller child, they can ride in a bike seat with an adult, or a jogging stroller, giving everyone an exciting view on the way to the park or playground. Just make sure everyone has a helmet!
  2. Have a dance party. Put on some music you and your kids enjoy. It doesn’t have to be toddler tunes. We put on salsa and merengue, 80’s music, or anything that’s upbeat. Once we really get grooving, I find the exercise effortless. Lifting my kids to spin them is like adding weights to my workout.
  3. Do some yoga. There are great yoga for kids videos as well as books you can peruse with your children to get them up and moving, or settled down for the evening. The balance and stretching are wonderful for their growing bodies.
  4. Jump rope. Once your children are older, you can play jump rope with them. You can also teach them jump rope games and songs. Did you know that, according to the Waldorf style of education, jumping rope actually helps prepare kids for reading?
  5. Go swimming. The pool can be a great place to get some quality time with the kids. You can trade off with your spouse or a friend so each of you can do laps, while the other adult plays with the kids. If your kids are older, you can race or play a friendly game of water polo. Showing kids first hand that swimming can be enjoyable can also help decrease any fear of water.
  6. Do CrossFit. With CrossFit, all ages can workout together, using natural movements that are easily adaptable to different fitness levels. My kids will do squats with me now, as well as their version of push-ups. It’s fun to see how strong they are and everyone gets a little strength training.
  7. Run around the yard. My kids are still young, and one of their favorite things to do is run around the yard. In the winter, we run around the living room, or run in the snow. It excites them to be chased and they have the endurance to really get my heart pumping. As they get older, I can imagine we’ll be adding soccer balls, hockey sticks, and basketball hoops to our time together.

Do you get a workout in while spending time with your kids? What kind of exercise do you do?