Easy exercises to get moving

Participants use a broom to do simple exercises with help from Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.
Participants use a broom to do simple exercises with help from Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) The New Year is a time for resolutions. If you’re vowing to be more active together as a family, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Healthy Weight Center has some tips on fun, inexpensive ways to get moving.

Activity #1: laundry basket pick-up
Activity #1: laundry basket pick-up

Activity #1
You just need a laundry basket and some laundry, such as folded socks. You could also use toys, stuffed animals or different types of sports balls. Basically you fill the basket with items and then dump them out and spread them out. Join your toddler in cleaning them up. You can take different approaches, such as jumping, running, skipping, hopping on one foot or crawling to each item. You can make it a race. Once the items are all cleaned up, try again! Toddlers that enjoy this game will want to do it several times, so continue to encourage the activity. It will also benefit their fine and gross motor skills.

Activity #2
The second activity uses an item most people have in their home: a broom. You could also use a “Swiffer”, a mop, or any type of stick. Place the broom on the ground. You can practice balancing/walking on the broom like a tightrope for balance. You can practice hopping over the broom front to back or side to side. Use the 20/30 rule: 20x or 30 seconds per activity. Do it together, make it a game and be creative. You can also practice long jumps and measure how far you jump, and then try to jump further the next time. Use the broom for crawling under or jumping over, if you have something you can balance it on. (With permission), you can make a hurdle, which will also help you to practice balance and coordination. You can use the broom for a stick to help you practice balance.

Activity #2: use a broom
Activity #2: use a broom

Activity #3
You can also use a towel for household exercises. If you have a smooth, non-carpeted floor, a towel can be a great way to challenge your body with some exercises. For example, you can do plank walks or sliding planks, sliding lunges, ab raises or bear crawls. You can also use a towel as a yoga mat to practice some yoga exercises.  Additional exercises include: standing side bends, shoulder/lateral press, towel jumps (side to side, front to back) and toe scrunches.

Activity #3: bear crawl
Activity #3: bear crawl

Activity #4
There are also exercises such as water bottle resistance training or using milk jugs to make kettlebells or weights.

The main goal is to try to take breaks from sitting, get up, and get moving as a family. Take dance breaks from homework! Play fun active games like charades or the Wii! You can survive winter by being creative and working together.

More Tips

  • Try to get an hour or more of exercise each day
  • Try ten minutes of exercise three times a day – that’s already 30 minutes!
  • Try using props you already have at home: laundry basket, broom/mop, cans/jugs

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