As always, consult with your child’s physician before implementing any new exercise routine.
How do you keep your family active throughout the winter? By encouraging them to step away from the couch or computer, and get moving during the commercials of their favorite TV show! Staying active while indoors can be a challenge, but having an easy activity for the whole family can help and also be fun!
Print this sheet of exercises with pictures and cut them out. Next, place them in a bowl or container. During the commercial break, each person picks an exercise and everyone completes it until the TV program comes back on. At the next set of commercials, pick out a new exercise. You can also come up with your own fun exercises and add them to the list!
Windmill Toe Touches:
Stand shoulder width-apart with your arms out to the side. Touch your left toe with your right fingertip and repeat with the opposite side. If you can’t reach your toe, that’s okay!
You can incorporate your living room couch into this one or any stable surface. Position your hands shoulder width-apart. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down to straighten your elbows and return to the starting position.
Make sure your arms are positioned directly behind you as you bend your elbows. Keep your shoulders down as you raise your body. As you get stronger, try to put your legs out in front of you.
A classic, yet effective, exercise. The family member that does the most gets to pick the next exercise!
Right/Left Leg Alphabet:
Stand on your right or left leg and lift the opposite leg in the air. Try spelling your name while moving your leg or try to see how many letters you can spell before the commercials end!
A-B-C your way through this exercise like the one above – but use your arms instead of your legs!
You can do push-ups on your knees, toes, or standing up with your hands against a wall. Keep your back flat and your neck in line with your spine as you lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle. Then push back up!
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your arms crossed in front of you. Raise your body up toward your knees and lift your shoulders off the floor. Make sure not to hold your breath!
Step forward with one leg and lower your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Keep your body straight and your knee is in line with your toe.
Run in Place:
Since it’s too cold to run outside – simply run in the middle of your living room! See how long you can run in place without stopping.
Imaginary Jump Rope:
Swing your pretend jump rope as you hop up and down.
Lie on your back with your arms by your side. Extend your legs out fully and lift one leg up in the air and then bring it back down. Then lift your other leg up in the air and bring it back down. Keep your stomach muscles tight and your back flat on the floor to prevent any injuries. Try to flutter for one commercial, then take a break and repeat.
Hop like a Frog:
This should make the entire family giggle! Place your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your chest up. Squat down like you’re sitting into an imaginary chair, making sure your knees are in line with your toes, and leap in the air - just like a frog!
Extend both arms out to your sides. Circle your arms using small, controlled motions. Alternate moving them forward or backward after each commercial!
These exercises are part of a resource we use at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition to help families move more and sit less. For more information from our Center click here.
Kimberly Van Camp PT, DPT, SCS, is a board-certified sports clinical specialist and a STOTT pilates certified instructor. Kim is the team physical therapist for Buckeye Gymnastics. She also works at the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition, where she assists in improving childhood health through participation in physical activity and exercise.
Rebecca Fisher, PT
Sports and Orthopedic Physical Therapy
Rebecca began her experience at Nationwide Children's Hospital as a volunteer in the OT/PT Department. She graduated from The Ohio State University in 1993 with a Bachelor's degree in Allied Medicine and became a licensed Physical Therapist.
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