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With so many sports off the cards, and limited space at home, it can be difficult to find physical activities for kids to do. Even once you do, the chances are that they might bore of them quickly. Try our tips for exercise with kids that will let them – and you! – have fun while you stay fit…
This core strengthening move is deceptively simple, but is a great one to do indoors as you don’t need much space or any equipment. Lie on your front on the floor, then raise your body so that only the tips of your toes and your hands or forearms are on the floor, keeping your back straight. Hold this position for one minute, then repeat.
As it’s quite a solitary activity, you can take it in turns timing each other to keep everyone engaged. You can introduce variations too, like taking an arm or foot off the floor or twisting to one side to make it harder. The kids will love it if they can sit on your back while you do it – although that does make it a much harder workout for you!
2. Relay runs
Shuttle runs are a great way to burn off energy, and you can make it more of a game to keep it fun for the kids. Mark out the distance – maybe one end of the garden to the other, or across the width of the kitchen. If there are four or more of you, you can split into teams to race each other.
If not, take it in turns to time each other – the person who can do the most shuttle runs in a minute wins!
3. Belly dancing
Let’s face it, one of the easiest and most fun ways to exercise is to whack the music up and dance your heart out. To mix it up a bit, try a different form of dancing so you can learn some new moves, work different parts of your body and hear different music. Try this NHS Belly Dancing exercise video.
4. Circuit training
Set up a course of circuits with 6-8 activities that you can do for a minute each, before moving on to the next. These could be star jumps, burpees, lunges, knee ups – or anything else that gets the heart pumping. Depending on space, you can all do the same activity together, or at different times.
You might want to avoid doing this indoors, especially if you have low ceilings, but simple old skipping it has loads of health benefits. It can increase heart and lung fitness, as well as strengthening bones and improving balance and flexibility. Kids can do this alone, or two of you can one end of the rope each while one jumps in the middle.
6. Weights work
You don’t need fancy weights to tone up, you can make do with what you have at home. Older kids and adults can use tins of beans (or whatever else you have in the cupboard!) as weights. For littler ones, fill mini juice or water bottles with water or sand – they should be easier to hold, but make sure the lid is on properly!
Use your weights to do bicep curls, and to move your arms out to the side and above your head. You can also try our Five easy arm exercise.
Doing some regular daily stretches is a great habit for the kids to get into. Pilates can be a good exercise for kids and adults alike, and is great for strengthening muscles. Check out our At home Pilates workout.
What are your favourite ways to stay fit as a family?
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