Getting Your Exercise On

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  • Winter makes it hard for families to get the amount of exercise they need. And sedentary lives make kids stir crazy. Here are some easy exercises the whole family can benefit from.

  • Try challenging the family to jump up at commercial breaks and do as many jumping jacks as possible. Younger children with limited motor skills can just jump up and down. Have each child count off as they complete a jumping jack.

  • Running in place can increase your heart rate and can help disperse pent up energy in children. Try setting the kitchen timer for 3 minutes and challenge everyone in the family to run in place as fast as they can.

  • Playing catch can really help increase activity. Challenge your children to bounce the ball and count how many times they pass the ball without dropping it. Kids love this simple game. Be sure to protect any fragile decorations around your home before starting.

  • Set the timer and challenge your kids to get their toys picked up as fast as they can. Encourage racing around and loud, boisterous noise as they pick up. Bonus is you get them to tidy up their playroom and they get a little exercise to boot! Try this: time them with a stopwatch and if they beat their previous record, they get a special prize.

  • Turn on one of your favorite songs and invite your kids to dance around. Be sure to let YOUR hair as well and get involved. Your kids will love that you are participating and will get a workout at the same time! Suggestions: Conga line, Dancing with the Stars, Bunny Hop, Chicken Dance and The Limbo are great ways to engage kids.

  • Many local gyms have open swim days for families. Check with your local YMCA, Gym or even nearby hotel to see if they offer drop ins. Montclair Pool and Mockingbird Hills Pool in Omaha have open swim nights.