6 Great Ways To Exercise With Your Children November 10 2011

Parents sometimes complain that they do not have time to exercise because they are busy with their children. But exercising is fun and good for both children and adults. Why not do it together? Some exercise is not appropriate for children, but there are many activities that are. Here are some ideas to get started.

1. Work out with your stroller. For parents of babies and toddlers, baby joggers can be used as a workout tool. With a good running stroller, you can take you baby or toddler on a run.There are also classes available specifically for mothers (or fathers) who want to work out with their baby along in a stroller. You could also buy or rent a video that teaches stroller workouts if you would prefer not to take a class. These classes do not offer an exercise benefit for the child, but the baby will benefit from being out experiencing new things.

2. Go hiking. Hiking is a fun activity for all ages. For parents of babies, you can bring your baby along in a backpack carrier. Or use a stroller, if the terrain is smooth and flat. Young children can participate, but be sure to choose a fairly easy trail to minimize the risk of injury, and to be sure they will be able to keep up. It is essential to pack enough water and snacks, and stop for regular breaks. As an added bonus, you might encounter interesting new animals and plants, and your child might learn some new things along the way.

3. Go swimming. Swimming is an excellent way to exercise and is also appropriate for all age groups. Babies and young children will need constant supervision to keep them safe. Swimming lessons will teach children how to swim and how to practice proper water safety. Flotation devices can help keep children safe before they know how to swim well. There are also classes available for parents and babies that are great exercise for both parent and baby. Some pools offer water aerobics or other types of water exercise classes for adults. Taking one of these classes is great, but simply swimming on your own is also a great work out.

4. Take a mommy and me exercise class. Many fitness and yoga centers are starting to offer mommy and me classes, like mommy and me yoga, for mothers who want to work out with their children. These types of classes are a great way to bond with your child, and for both of you to learn some new ways to exercise and stay healthy.

5. Go to the park and play!If you usually sit and watch your child playing at the playground, use the time to get in a quick work out. You could do some sit ups on the grass while your child enjoys the slide. Or, join in! Climb the play structure and slide, push your child on the swing, or play tag. You might feel silly, but your child will love it. Have fun with it!

6. Try Geocaching. Geocaching is a fun activity where people find hidden boxes in parks and sign the logbook. Often toys and trinkets are traded from the box. Children love the hide and seek aspect of it, and by looking for geocaches in parks, you and you children can get in some great exercise. For more, visit Geocaching.com.

Be creative and you can find many ways to stay active and healthy along with your child. You will have the benefit of exercising and having your child right there with you, and your child will be learning about leading a healthy lifestyle from and early age.

Carleen Pruess Coulter is a runner and geocacher and is the owner and editor of RunGadget.com, a site that focuses on running gear reviews and race travel guides.