Exercise, Keep It Fun With Games

Games can be exercise and you can make exercise a game. With kids, it’s really all about how you frame it. If you present something in a fun way and approach it with enthusiasm and playfulness, in most cases you can get your child to at least try it.

Try one of these three classic games with your child. In addition to being fun, all of them double as a great source of exercise for you both!

Tag. It’s the original playground game, and is so simple it was probably played by children in the Stone Age times. As adults, it can be hard to see how running around chasing each other is fun, but you can’t argue with the fact that it is a great cardiovascular workout. Switch it up with one of the many variations that kids have come up with over the years. Try freeze tag, hide and seek tag, or elbow tag, or just ask your child for the latest, most fun version. Although tag is best in a group, if it’s only two of you just use your imagination to turn running around into a competition.

Hopscotch. All the hopping on one foot involved in this game is great for balance, coordination, and strength, and it gets your heart pounding too. Make your hopscotch a bit longer than the traditional version, and throw in some more complex moves like frog leaps, holding still on one foot for a count of thirty, or jumping jacks to get even more benefit out of this game.

Soccer. While there are plenty of sports that you could choose to play with your child, soccer is great because it involves minimal equipment, can be played with just two people, and requires lots of running intervals (bursts of high intensity sprinting followed by periods of jogging or light running) which is excellent cardiovascular exercise. Don’t have a goal? Just use whatever you have handy as goal posts – try cones, chairs, or even shoes – and get moving. If a full game is too much for you or your child, a great, less intimidating alternative is simply switching off playing goalie and shooter. The only rule is that the shooter has to start from far away and get a running start to take his or her shot!