Stay fit while you stay in — three indoor activities for you and your kids

As winter approaches, we’re trading in our rollerblades for ice skates and swimsuits for hats and gloves. There are plenty of great cold weather activities you and your kids can do, like building snowmen, sledding, or ice skating. But sometimes it’s hard to leave the house when the weather gets really bad.

So we’ve highlighted three indoor activities you and your kids can do to stay fit when you stay in. Together, these movements can build strength, contribute to your cardio activity (which is good for your heart), tone muscles, and more. They’re challenging, but you’ll feel great when you realize each movement feels easier and you can do more.

You and your kids can do these activities at any time—try squeezing them in before breakfast or dinner, or even while watching TV. These will be sure to get your and your kids’ blood pumping and keep you warm even if it’s freezing outside!

Leg lifts

Leg lifts are simple exercises that can be done anywhere, as long as you have somewhere to sit. We recommend sitting on a backless chair or stool.

  1. Sit upright at the edge of a backless chair or stool. This means your back should be straight, your shoulders should not be raised, and you should be facing forward.
  2. Extend your legs until they are straight.
  3. Lift up your straight legs so that your body is in the shape of an L. If needed, hold on to the seat of the chair or stool for support.
  4. Lower your straight legs down to the ground until your feet touch the floor.
  5. Repeat

Planks

You may recall the planking trend from 2010, but this is slightly different. It’s a great full body workout that doesn’t require too much movement or too much space.

  1. Start by getting into a push-up position on the floor. This means your arms are straight and your hands are on the floor directly in front of your shoulders. Your legs are straight, with your feet next to each other or as wide as your shoulders.
  2. Bend your elbows to the ground and rest your weight onto your forearms, not your hands. It helps to put your hands in a fist.
  3. Engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine.
  4. Hold the position for 30-60 seconds at a time.

Make sure that your body stays in a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles while you hold the plank.

If you want more of a challenge, hold the plank from the push-up position (with straight arms) instead of bending at your elbows. As you get stronger, hold the plank while bringing your right knee to your right elbow and hold for three seconds, then repeat with your left knee and left elbow.

Burpees

In addition to having a name that will make your kids laugh, burpees are a great full body workout that can be done anywhere. Here’s how:

  1. Start in a squatting position with your hands in front of you and in between your feet.
  2. From the squat, jump straight up and clap your hands above your head.
  3. Drop back down into the squat position.
  4. Step or jump both of your legs backwards so you are in a plank or push-up position. (See above exercise for full explanation)
  5. Do a push-up or lower yourself to the floor. Make sure to keep your body straight.
  6. Raise yourself back up, bring your legs back into your chest and return to the squat position.

When you’re starting out, we recommend doing 5-10 burpees at a time. Take a two-minute break and then do 5-10 more. If you aren’t tired, keep going!

These three activities are meant to be tough. The more you do them, the easier they’ll get. And before you know it, you’ll be doing more and more each time.

 

Photo courtesy of The Huffington Post

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