While winter wears on, you may be trying to figure out a few ways for your kids get out some of that energy (for your sanity!) and also help them get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day (for their mental and physical health). While sports programs and after-school activities can do the trick, they often cost money and require resources to help get the kids from here to there. Here are a few fun—and FREE!—ideas you can do from the comfort of your home.
The HOME OBSTACLE CHALLENGE:
Set up a relay or obstacle course around your house, apartment or yard (weather permitting). Set a goal, designate a prize and have fun!
Pick at least five different stations for the obstacle course. Stations could include:
- Couch Sit and Jump. Sit slowly onto the couch and then jump up off your feet, land softly and repeat 20 times.
- Kitchen Sock Running Man. Wear slippery socks in the kitchen and, while in a push-up position, slide your feet up, down and all around for 30 seconds.
- Hallway or Outdoor Shuttle Run. Pick a short distance and quickly sprint from one end to the other 10 times as fast as you can! (Watch out for barriers and reinforce basic safety rules.)
- Doorway Jumps. Place a mat or small rug in the middle of the doorway. The goal here is to jump from one side of the doorway to the other without touching the mat or small rug. Start by standing on your left foot and jump across the doorway, landing on your right leg, and repeat on the other leg side. Continue jumping side to side for 30 seconds.
- Table or Couch Circle Run. Clear an area around your kitchen table or couch (whichever is safest to run around). Try to run as many circles clockwise around the table or couch for 30 seconds and then reverse directions and repeat. Try to match the number of laps you did in each direction.
- Remote Control Balance Touches. Holding onto a remote control, balance on your left leg only and try to touch the remote to the floor without using your right leg for help. Repeat 10 touches on the left leg and switch to the right. See how many touches you can get on each leg without help from the other leg.
- Hot Steps. You only need one step in your house for this one. Standing at the bottom of your step, safely step up and down off the step as quickly as you can. Count to see how many times you can go up and down that one step in 30 seconds. Repeat, this time leading with the opposite foot.
Anna Renderer has her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Clinical Exercise Physiology from Northeastern University. She is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and certified Youth Fitness Specialist with the International Youth and Conditioning Association (IYCA). Anna is the co-founder and CEO of KFIT Health (www.kidfitnessandhealth.com), developing high quality nutrition and fitness education for children and their parents. She is also the host for POPSUGAR Fitness TV, sharing her fitness expertise with thousands of online viewers and interviewing other health professionals. She has developed and starred in fitness videos, Jumpstart Your Health and SHED 2 WED. Anna is currently the Fitness Director at Burn 60 in LA. She specializes in weight loss and optimal performance training. She has developed over 50 educational online fitness videos seen on www.fitsugar.com and is passionate about educating and instructing others on ways to stay fit!
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