We all know the benefits of exercise for adults and children but it can be hard to fit it in. Parents get busy and gym memberships are expensive. Kids may have packed schedules or lack the motivation to get moving over the summer when it's hot outside. At times like this, it's necessary to think creatively to keep everyone fit.
Water Fights: Summertime means heat and humidity. Who doesn't want some fun water play when the heat sets in. Kids may not realize it, but the whole family will get tons of exercise running around the yard shooting each other with Super Soakers. The Super Soaker Zombie Strike Splatterblast even glows in the dark for nighttime fights or try the epic Super Soaker Floodfire that can be attached to the hose for non-stop spraying while still allowing plenty of room for running around the yard.
Biking: Once I had kids I thought bike riding might be a thing of the past for me at least while I had kids too young to pedal themselves on two wheels. Luckily there are some ways even families with young kids can get rolling together. Adults who like to ride can give kids the ride of their lives by using a bike trailer, such as a Thule Cougar which is great for long trips and even can be converted to a stroller if you would like to bike to a destination that requires walking. Another option is a child seat that fits on your bike, like the Thule Ridealong, which is light but can hold kids up to 48.5 pounds safely. If you prefer to ride along with your kids, even very young children can get into the action with a FirstBike balance bike that can go on a variety of terrains and has been shown to help kids learn to ride on their own sooner and can be used with a kit for kids as young as two.
Scooting: My kids love their scooters so much that they want to ride them everywhere. Eventually it occurred to me that I could scoot alongside them. I've had such a great time on my Micro scooter along with my kids and my kids delight in having me scoot alongside them. Very young children can in on the action with a MiniMicro 3-in-1 scooter that starts off with a seat and O Bar then converts to a scooter with a regular handle.
Jumping: Admit it -- jumping is just plain fun. It can also be a great workout. Get in shape with your kids right in your backyard with a large trampoline. When kids are involved, an enclosure net and safety pad are key. Getting a complete set, such as those available from Exacme, is your best bet. A 10 foot trampoline won't swallow your yard and is big enough for an adult and kid or two but larger sizes are available if you want to have more room to jump.
Games: Since it's summer there will be plenty of time spent indoors escaping the heat. But, this doesn't mean families need to sit around with passive entertainment. Remember Twister? It's gotten an update with the Twister Moves Hip Hop Spots Game where players constantly move around to get their feet on the correct colored spot. Get an optional movement counter to help kids and parents keep track of how much they are moving and encourage them to beat one another's top score.
Running: Kids love to run! A good game of tag or racing is always a fun way to get kids in motion and parents can easily join in the fun. For Moms who want to run with little ones a good jogging stroller can make staying fit easy. The BOB REVOLUTION PRO is a great choice for any terrain, including shady trails, and even has an option cross-training kit to up your workout with a little one in tow.
Walking: Sometimes with young kids the best way to get exercise is simply to get out and walk. Babies and toddlers are usually content to be carried by a parent or in a stroller and this type of exercise requires little to no advance planning. I like to walk to my destination whenever I have the time to get in a workout whenever I can. To ensure you are able to go a long enough distance to make your walk into a real workout. A very sturdy carrier for long walks such as the Thule Sapling Elite is your best bet for carrying baby while getting your workout. Babies and toddlers who enjoy a stroller can ride comfortably in a stroller like the Nuna Mixx that lies flat for naps, can face a parent, and is sturdy enough for bumpy sidewalks yet isn't bulky or heavy.
Hiking: If you live near trails no need to leave the kids behind when hiking. Getting out into nature can be just what you need to calm your mind and get your heartrate up. Thule's Sapling Elite child carrier is super-comfortable for parents (even my husband's bad back could withstand a long walk) and has room enough for diapers and snacks. If you prefer to stroll the Bob PRO is a great choice for off-roading.
Bouncing: Having a contest to see who can jump the highest will work but you can make this activity a lot more fun but investing a bouncehouse. Seriously! Look for a large, sturdy bounce house that is adult-friendly also such as the BlastZone Magic Castle Ultra 12. I know I'm getting a great workout because how sweaty and out of breath I am at the end of a bouncy house session and my kids don't realize all of that jumping is keeping them healthy. As a bonus, this piece of "exercise equipment" can double as birthday party entertainment.
However you decided to get moving with kids around just get up and do it!