12 Fun, Easy Ways to Make Exercise a Habit for You & Your Kid

12 Fun, Easy Ways to Make Exercise a Habit for You & Your Kid

mom and daughter working out

Like a lot of moms, I'm busy. I average about 50 hours a week at my job, so when I'm at home, spending time with my two kids (ages 4 and 8) is a top priority. I know I need to make exercise a priority too, but since my kids are nearly aged out of the jogging stroller, I haven't been sure how to combine spending time with them with fitness. 

So I turned to some fitness-savvy moms to find out their secrets to incorporating kids into an exercise routine, and I got some genius ideas. 

Read on for smart (and affordable!) ideas that promote fitness for the whole family. I'm sold on the idea of getting in better shape myself while also encouraging my kids to be as active as possible. And, yes, I'm totally doing #3 the next time we go to the park!

12 easy exercise habits 

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  • Take the Monkey Bars

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    "There are tons of great ways to incorporate fitness into a trip to the park. As a personal trainer, I often take clients there to do things like crossing the monkey bars (surprisingly hard for most adults) and using the balance beams (good for the core). No reason you can't do that while your kids play!" -- Christine S., San Diego, California

  • Enroll in a Class Together

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    "There is a dance studio in our town that does "Mommy and Me" dance classes. My daughter and I have taken jazz, hip-hop, and even ballet together. It is a lot of fun and I do get a workout!" -- Desi D., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

  • Create a Playground Obstacle Course

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    "We go to the park early in the morning, before it's crowded, and make our own obstacle course out of the playground equipment. We'll go, for example, two times up and down the slide, then run to the monkey bars and cross them and then do the fireman pole and then 10 jumping jacks. It's fun and a good workout." -- Celeste H., Boulder, Colorado

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  • Share a Goal

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    "My son isn't the most athletic kid, so we've been working on ways to help him get more exercise and for me to get more too. What's working for us is that he and I have a shared goal: an upcoming 5K race. We're doing the "Couch to 5K" plan together and it's keeping us both motivated." -- Patrice P., Tucson, Arizona 

  • Do Yoga Together

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    "My daughter and I have been doing yoga together since she was 2! Yoga is great because it really meets you where you are, and everyone can do it at their own level." -- Lovely T., Deerborn, Michigan

  • Try Martial Arts

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    "We signed up for karate! Since we're both beginners, we are in the same class at our local studio. It gives us twice a week of guaranteed time and sweat together." -- Simone A., Mendota Heights, Minnesota

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  • Get on the Sports Field

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    "I've become a soccer mom -- literally! My kids love to play soccer and I've started practicing with them in the backyard. Turns out there's a reason soccer players are so fit! It's a lot of running! The kids love that I'm playing with them." -- Annie D., Billings, Montana

  • Head to a Bike Trail

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    "Now that my son is off training wheels, we're riding bikes together more. Our current goal is for him to be able to ride a 20-mile trail with me by the end of the summer. There's an ice cream stand at the end of the trail and he is very motivated to get a big cone!" -- Michelle A., Des Moines, Iowa

  • Turn on a Workout Video

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    "My toddler LOVES it when I do exercise videos in the basement while she plays. She dances along to the music and even tries to do some of the moves. Watching an 18-month-old try to do sit-ups is amazingly funny." -- Rachael D., Albert Lea, Minnesota

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  • Volunteer to Coach

    Image via iStock.com/Cathy Yeulet

    "I volunteered to be an assistant coach for my 5-year-old's soccer team. I don't really know much about soccer, but neither do they! I end up just running up and down the field a lot, which is good exercise for me." -- Karen N., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

  • Play Tennis

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    "I get a good workout playing tennis with my son. He is TERRIBLE, so I spend a lot of time chasing down wildly overhit balls." -- Patty A., Austin, Texas

  • Get Competitive

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    "My son and I are both super competitive, so now that we both have step counters, we compete to see who gets the most steps per day. Now when I go out to take a walk, he always wants to come so I don't pass him on steps." -- Sue T., Salina, Kansas

    More from CafeMom: I Put a Step Tracker on My Kid & His Tally Shocked Me

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