How to exercise with your kids

It seems to be many parents' favorite excuse: I don't have time to exercise, I've got kids. Though there may be some truth to that statement , there are many ways to get your heart rate pumping while involving your kids at the same time.

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  • It seems to be many parents' favorite excuse: I don't have time to exercise, I've got kids. Though there may be some truth to that statement (I've felt that way more than once), there are many ways to get your heart rate pumping while involvingyour kids at the same time. No gym membership required! Isn't that a novel idea?

  • 1. Dance

  • Crank up the music and let loose with your kids. My kids are always a little hesitant to dance, but the more they are exposed to fun music, the more likely they are to dance. They have grown so fond of getting their wiggles out, it is now one of our favorite things to do. If you need some music ideas, try the Raffi station on Pandora (it's a favorite of ours.) For added fun, make some musical instruments, fancy shaker eggs, or ribbon wands.

  • 2. Set up an exercise circuit

  • Let's re-live the glory days together and pretend we're back in high school gym class. This is one of the most effective and efficient workouts where you can exercise in a small space and not spend any money. Write down 10 exercises to complete and do each one for one minute. (Jumping jacks, pushups, wall squats, etc.) Repeat the circuit three times. If you have young children, print off a simple picture to remind them what to do at each station.

  • 3. Head to your local pool

  • Splashing and kicking at the pool can burn a lot more calories than sitting at home on your couch. If you are like me, and don't live close to a pool, pick out a day to make the drive to the nearest pool. Your kids will thank you.

  • 4. Take a spin

  • I have yet to meet a kid who doesn't love the great outdoors. If you haven't been outside today, find those bikes in the shed and go for a spin around the block. If you're feeling extra adventurous, strap on some roller blades (or skates) and show your kids how skating is done.

  • 5. Gather equipment

  • It's true, you really don't need any equipment to get a good workout, but if you have access to some (or all) of these items you can double the fun!

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    • Weights

    • Resistance bands

    • Fitness balls

    • Wii

    • Yoga mats

    • Medicine balls

    • Skipping ropes

    • Hula Hoops

    • Skip-Its

    • Pogo Sticks

  • 6. Take a hike

  • Do you take advantage of the natural beauty around you? We live within driving distance of some amazing canyons, and when we take the time to go, our kids have an absolute blast.

  • 7. Pop in an exercise DVD and have your kids join you

  • Are you a P90X-er or a Jillian Michaels fan? How do you know your kids aren't? Let them in on the fun. You may need to help them figure out modified versions, but chances are they will see what you're doing and copy your every move.

  • 8. When you are out running errands, park as far from the store as possible

  • Those few extra steps can add up, and like they say, every little bit counts!

  • 9. Do yard work for your neighbors

  • Teach your children the value of exercise and service at the same time! Fall would be an excellent time to implement this (when leaves covering the ground need to be raked up) but you could make it work any day of the year.

  • 10. Go on a nature scavenger hunt

  • As your kids are searching for the items, encourage them by running alongside them. They'll be panting in no time.

  • This week, whether sunny or rainy, implement just one of these ideas into your schedule. Chances are you and your kids will feel invigorated, and you won't be able to do it just once!

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Jessie McKinley is a city girl living in a small town. A graduate in Home and Family Living, she now puts her knowledge to use daily as she teaches and raises her two young children, whom she adores.

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