Over the years, you’ve mastered the art of jogging with a stroller. You’ve even figured out a way to get your strength training in with your precious little one strapped down and incapable of bugging you (well, at least without bugging you to the point of ripping your hair out and screaming bloody murder).
Then one day you wake up and realize your 13-year-old probably isn’t going to go for the stroller thing anymore (darn!). So now what? Well, the good news is you now have an even better workout buddy than a stroller. Believe it or not, kids actually enjoy physical activity (Seriously? What’s wrong with them?).
Working Out with Your Kids
Getting your workout in with your kid is one of the best ways to ensure you will have a lot of fun and burn more calories than you imagined you could. Trust me, you will poop out long before little James or Chloe does. Plus, you get extra parent points for encouraging an active lifestyle for your little (or not so little any more) one.
Here are some great workout ideas for you and your kiddos. These exercises all require a weighted medicine ball (find a comfortable weight for you and your kid) that is easily purchased at any sporting goods store. It is a lot more fun for you and your "mini me" to use equipment, so ditch the stroller and grab the ball! Of course, if you don’t have a kid (and can’t find one to borrow), any of these exercises can be done with an adult instead. In fact, if you can find an adult who is willing to dress up in kids clothes, that would make for an exceptionally entertaining workout (but you didn’t hear that from me).
- Medicine ball toss: Stand about 3-5 feet from your kid. Squat down low with the ball at your chest, and as you come up from the squat, toss the ball to him/her. Always begin descending into the squat as you catch the ball (and remind your kid to do the same) so as not to absorb all the pressure in your knees or lower back. Put that pressure on your rear end instead! Continue passing the ball back and forth for 20-100 reps (depending on your fitness level).
- Repeat the first exercise, but this time, hold the ball over your head as you squat, and when you toss the ball, toss it high in the air.
- Medicine ball bounce pass: For this exercise, you might want to stand a little bit farther away from each other. Play around with the first few to find a comfortable distance. Hold the ball up over your head, and as you squat down low, release the ball HARD toward the ground a few feet in front of you so that it bounces up just over your partner’s head. That is where he/she should catch it and then return the favor. Again, do about 20-100 reps of this exercise.
- Repeat the previous exercise, only this time, try a lower bounce pass from your chest.
- Medicine ball side toss: This is an awesome exercise for your core! Stand about 3-5 feet from each other again, only this time, instead of facing each other, you will both be facing the same direction. Start with the ball at your hip farthest away from your kid, and twist your waist as you toss the ball straight across to him/her. As you catch the ball, let the momentum twist you back around and then toss it again. As soon as you complete an exhausting set of reps (yes, I know—this is way more difficult than it sounds), turn around and face the other direction so you can both work your other side as well. Keep your knees slightly bent throughout this entire exercise.
To your kid, these exercises are really just like playing catch, so trust me, you will both have a blast and get an awesome workout in while doing it. It is good bonding as well, but that is just a coincidence—don’t expect me to be a therapist, too!
Dear stroller, it’s been a fun run, but it’s out with the old and in with the new … perhaps someone on Craigslist has good use for you now.