Can’t do the playground anymore. The park trails are too crowded now. Quarantine, social distancing, #stayhome, whatever you want to call it isn’t conducive to a child staying active. Not to mention most gyms are closed across the country.
You and your kid could stay inside playing video games all day or watching Toy Story 4 for the 40th time in a row, or you could discover new ways to get active, work out together and train for your next obstacle course…whether it be the adult course for you or the kid’s race for them.
Below are a few stuck-at-home workout options that I’ve been doing with my six-year-old son. We've been doing a mix of them all to keep things interesting for both of us. I’ve also set a personal goal of working out in one way or another for at least 30 minutes to an hour five days a week while he's out of school and I'm out of work. I’m not sure if I could run another half marathon right now, but I’m feeling in shape and he's having fun. It's a win/win.
At least, two or three times a week, we’re getting outside and doing a run, bike or hike.
The runs around the neighborhood are mostly light jogs, with some walking breaks mixed in. I’m not going for any set pace or distance, just excited to get the heart rate up and some sweating going on. If your child hasn’t reached running age yet, a jogging stroller is a solid investment. I was able to get 4-5 miles in with my son when he was a baby (and I’m slow) before he needed a break, bottle or diaper change.
The bike rides take a similar feel, an easy pace often with no set route. Just exploring the area and going further than what we could do on our feet. If your son or daughter is younger than my son, there’s no better time than now to get a child carrier seat. It’s almost guaranteed smiles and I’m willing to bet they’ll like it more than the jogging stroller.
My son hasn’t always been a hiker. He loved it when we would carry him in a kid carrier when he was small, but wasn’t a fan when he had to do the hiking…until now. He hit the age where we can go decent distances without him complaining or asking are we there yet. Now we’re setting new records and I love seeing him enjoying the outdoors. Pro tip: Bring lots of snacks.
Spartan Kids B.A.S.E. Camp Program
Last month, Spartan launched The B.A.S.E. Camp Program. It's 14+ workouts aimed to rip kids off the couch and get them ready for a Spartan Kids Race. The workouts are fun, not too complicated and just the right length and intensity for family members under the age of 12.
Tough Mudder T-Minus 30 on Openfit
It started as me just working out at home because I couldn’t go to the gym anymore. But soon, my son was joining in with me. He may have taken a few extra breaks, went light on the weights, but there’s no reason to keep just to the kids workouts when it comes to working out as a family.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be Openfit, it could P90X3, Paleton, whatever you’re doing, let them join in too.
My son’s weekly capoeira (Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music) class went online. Twice a week for an hour, we’re in the living room kicking, dancing, and stretching. It’s a serious cardio and strength workout plus, he gets to see some of his friends from class.
His capoeira, of course, is not the only class that’s gone online. You can check to see if the local karate, dance or whatever has gone virtual too. It could be a good break for you, or you could join in too…just off-screen…like I do. I don’t want the 6-8-year-olds to be amazed…or my son embarrassed by my moves.
My son and I have had weekly and sometimes random pull-up, push-up and burpees challenges. Sure, I give him some assistance on the pull-ups and let him beat me, but it’s been great for me and him. Now, he’ll walk by the pull-up bar in the doorway and announce it’s time to do pull-ups.
Whatever you do, keep in mind that during this time of crisis and when working out with the junior family members, don’t always expect your workouts to be of the same length or intensity. Allow time for extra breaks. Don’t try to break any record paces. Don’t expect to do every workout as written because the equipment isn’t available. My real goal now is to keep the workouts fun and exciting for my son, so that hopefully it creates a lifelong fitness habit.
These are just a few of the ways to work out with your kids.