“Go outside and play!” has long been the parental battle cry of summer, but many areas around the world are in the middle of a heat wave. Going outside to do just about anything, especially playing, can be dangerous in summer months. However, that doesn’t mean that your kids will get no exercise during these lazy days of summer.
There are plenty of options for exercising indoors, and you don’t have to leave your house for all of them. Remember that modeling good behavior is at the core of making sure kids get enough exercise. Whether you want to keep your mind healthy or keep your body healthy, exercising and playing with kids is the best way to make sure the whole family is happy and healthy. And the healthier the family is, as a whole, the less likely it is for any member to suffer from illness, trauma, or need treatment services.
Ready to take that healthy lifestyle indoors? Here are five options for staying inside while still working out:
- Take advantage of your local pool. If you have a gym membership with a pool or access to a reasonably priced community pool, now is the time to use it. Indoor pools are temperate, you get the added benefit of sun protection from that roof, and you still feel like you’re making the most of summer. You can also use this opportunity to introduce kids to a gym’s workout equipment if they’re old enough. Many gym pools offer swimming classes for kids in the summer months, and it’s a great time to be certain they know this life skill.
- A pile of towels and hard surface floors. All you need to have a blast indoors is hard floors and a pile of towels. The challenge? Zip around the room using only the towels as your mode of transportation. It’s a surprisingly challenging workout that will leave you laughing and having fun. For an added challenge, tape papers around the walls that need to be touched in order to win points.
- Stream a yoga video. There are yoga classes available online for all ages. Whether you’re at the “baby and me” yoga stage or your adolescent is interested in trying out a “real” yoga class that uses proper Sanskrit names, you’ll be able to find a wide selection—often for free—online. All you need is space for a yoga mat. For many kids, an online video at home is a lot less intimidating than taking an actual yoga class, especially if they want to try an adult class.
- Jump rope. Jumping rope is an incredible workout for all ages that requires endurance, balance, and agility. The perfect place to try your hand is in the garage, where it’s also likely cooler. Now’s your chance to introduce your kids to Double Dutch and the tricks you used to show off as a kid. You’ll be surprised by how demanding this toy is. Just ten minutes of jumping rope burns serious calories.
- Have a dance party. Dancing can really rev up the heart rate and burn plenty of calories. The music all depends on your children’s age, and of course there are some who are at that stage when they’d rather die than dance in front of anyone. However, if you’re lucky enough to still have kids who don’t mind busting a move with you, this is the perfect way to expel excess energy. For a real laugh, you can always look up old Richard Simmons tapes. They’re so badly vintage, they’ve come full circle again.
Outdoor exercise can be great because nothing beats that fresh air. However, it can also be dangerous when it’s extremely hot out. If you really want to get outdoors, plan an outing at sunrise. It’s still cool, you’ll have the outdoors to yourself, and you’ll avoid the most dangerous UV hours.