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Sarah Coleman: A guide to making workouts fun with your kids

Sarah Coleman
For Steamboat Pilot & Today

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Functional training is useful, practical and an easy way to sneak exercise into your routine as well as your child’s. As parents, you have the responsibility to keep your kids happy and healthy as much as you can. In a world filled with peer pressure, ads for fast food, pizza party sleepovers and unhealthy school lunches, it is important to fill your child’s mind with healthy habits. Not only can you teach them how to live a healthy life, you can show them.

Being active with your kids is a huge part of making the imprint on them to carry fitness with them in their own life and for the rest of their life. Starting good habits young will keep them making healthy choices from here on. Get creative and make fitness fun by adding it to your normal routine.

Here are a few tips to get you started.

Go to a playground. Find your inner child and make a few fitness games for you and your children to do. Everyone loves a little friendly competition. Jump, skip and climb and see who can get to the other side of the playground first — passing through a few obstacles along the way. For example, you must complete three full swings, jump over five things and climb over two. First one to the other side picks the next challenge. Let them use their creativity as well.

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Try parking at the end of the parking lot when you do errands or go to the grocery store. See who can carry the most items back to the car, using your recycled grocery bags, of course. Then when you arrive home, take as many trips from the car as you can, taking the stairs two at a time.

Take a hike. Plan to do a few activities along the way. Using nature as a guide, plan things such as picking up rocks and throwing them in a pond or gathering pieces of wood and logs to build a little pile to jump over. Depending on the age of your children, add some functional movements like push-ups, burpees and squats along the path.                     

Remember you do not even have to leave the house to get some good activity in. Try turning household chores into games and add a little hustle. 

As a child, we used to play “speed dishes.” That’s right, everyone chips in and you get the dishes done as soon as possible. Assign jobs and get it done. You can do this with any activity.

Try having a bed-making contest. If the bed doesn’t pass inspection, you have to take a few laps around the house or do jumping jacks. Note: Fitness does not have to be a punishment, make fitness a reward as well.

These ideas should get you started making fitness a part of your world, as well as your child’s. You will soon look at playgrounds and stairs in a whole new light. Ride your bikes to the movies. Walk after dinner. Run to get the mail or take the trash out.

Before you know it, you will be having a blast and staying in shape without even realizing it. Make functional training a part of your life. Get moving today.

Sarah Coleman is a wellness coach at The Foundry, a personal trainer, CrossFitter and coach at Steamboat CrossFit, food connoisseur at Bitchin Kitchin and outdoor enthusiast everywhere.


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