by Heather Christy, guest contributor and co-owner of Just Move Fitness and More
Start exercise habits young, make it fun, and kids will get hooked! Exercise helps us stay healthy and makes our lungs, heart, muscles and bones stronger. It helps us think better because more oxygen gets to the brain as blood starts pumping. And it helps us sleep better – there are so many benefits! Make the indoors your playground this winter with these fun fitness games to keep your kids active (and, parents, join in and you’ll get exercise too!).
1. Freeze Dance
Everyone loves freeze dance where you play music and freeze when the music stops. But don’t stop there! Make it Freeze Connect and call out a body part that you have to connect with when the music stops. Take turns with who gets to control the music! Freezing while connecting big toes is challenging!
2. Exercise Dice
Get a pair of dice, one will control the movement and the other controls how many. For example: 1=jumping jacks, 2=spins, 3=frog jumps, 4=hops on one foot, 5=toe touches, 6=log rolls. If you roll a 6 & 1, you have to do 1 log roll. If you roll a 4 and a 6, you have to do 6 hops on one foot. Pick exercises your kids can do and take turns rolling the dice!
3. Balloon Bop
Anything you can play with a ball outside, play inside with a balloon! With Balloon Bop, you try to keep a balloon from touching the ground. Add a twist and say you can’t use your hands or you have to use your knee, etc.!
4. Paper Catch
Give everyone a piece of newspaper. Throw it in the air and try to catch it on the body part called, for example: head, arm, foot, gluteus maximus (funny to say and hard to do!).
5. Indoor American Ninja Warrior
Set up an obstacle course in your living room and then time how long it takes to complete the course. Some obstacles examples are: take cushions off the couch and you have to roll across them, put pillows on the floor to jump over, crawl under tables, walk like on a tightrope between couches. Keep going to try to better your time!
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that children age 2 and older should “participate in at least 60 minutes of enjoyable, moderate-intensity physical activities every day that are developmentally appropriate and varied.” Don’t let the cold weather stop you and your kids from moving and you’ll be stronger and healthier when summer rolls around!
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR
Heather Christy is a mother of two and co-owner of Just Move Fitness and More in Portage, MI.
At Just Move Fitness and More, we believe fitness that is fun will lead to good habits of regular and consistent exercise and an overall healthier well-being for the whole family and the community. Check out our full class schedule at www.justmovefit.com – both membership and drop-in options are available to meet your needs and budget! Plus, they offer some great class options for moms and tots. See more at: Just Move Fitness -moms. They will have a 6-week Move With Me class starting on 2/5/15 (Thursdays at 10:15am). Heather’s nickname is the “Energizer Bunny” – it’s rare to see her not moving! Catch her at fitness classes and at Just Move Storytime at the Portage District Library this winter!