Beat the Heat: Exercise in the Living Room!
I was planning on meeting some clients at the park tonight to exercise – and it was 93 degrees outside! That’s HOT! HOT! HOT! We completed the workout because I was confident enough in their conditioning and acclimatization to move forward. But if you’re just starting to exercise or if your kids are below the age of 13, then stay inside when it’s that hot! As a matter of fact, don’t plan on exercising outside in weather above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. You run the risk of dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke – and none of those are fun.
So, what do you do? Grab the kids, move the coffee table aside and get ready to have some fun and exercise together!
Your living room is the perfect place to exercise – you have furniture to use, you’ve probably got a stereo around so you can listen to music, and you can all be in the same room together so you don’t have to worry about what the kids are doing in the other room.
Here are some ideas that you can start with:
- Warm-up. Get your blood pumping with the classic jumping jack. Or make it funny by doing seal jacks. For this variation you will start with your feet slightly further than hip width apart and your arms parallel to the ground and out to your sides. Jump, bringing your arms in front of you as you simultaneously bring your feet together. Clap in front of you (add a barking seal noise if you feel so inclined) and then jump to the starting position. Have a 1 minute contest to see who can do the most jumping jacks then move on to the next exercise.
- Wall Sit. This one is a bit harder than it sounds. Have everyone spread out along a wall. Press your back against the wall and bend your knees to 90 degrees, parallel to the ground, as if you were sitting in a chair. See who can hold it the longest. Don’t forget to cheer for each other and encourage each other. The first person to stand up can test the others by tickling them or sitting on their lap (depending upon fitness abilities.)
- Do the Monster Mash. Crank up the radio and move your body for one whole song! Show off your favorite moves, like the sprinkler, the shopping cart, the monster mash, the swim…have fun and see who can strike the most fabulous “American Idol” pose…or pair up for a “Dancing with the Stars” face off!
- Patty-cake Push Ups! This one is fun and challenging. Parents face off in front of each other, both lying on your stomach, your hands slightly further out than shoulder width, heads up (gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes). Kids face off in the same manner. Push up, keeping your body in a nice straight line and high-five your partner with your right hand, then with your left, then return to starting position on your stomach. If you’re just beginning, do a modified push-up on your knees instead of on your toes. Do this exercise for 30 seconds or until you reach a desired amount of push-ups (start with 5 and work your way up.)
- Mother May I? Teach your kids proper manners and have fun playing this classic grade school game. For rules, click here.
- Gopher Crunches. This game is similar to the popular arcade game “Whack-a-Mole,” except that you will encourage gentleness in this game! Here’s what to do: Get everyone down on the floor in a circle, feet facing in so that everyone can see everyone else in the circle. Choose one person to be in the middle. Then have everyone else lay down with their knees bent, back flat on the floor and arms flat on the ground down to their sides. On “go” everyone will begin doing crunches, with the person in the middle attempting to “whack the mole” gently with a pillow or simply with their hand. The first mole to get whacked moves to the middle to attempt to whack the moles! The object of the game is to NOT get whacked and get as many crunches in as you can!
- Cool down. Now that you’ve gotten your exercise and spent an uproariously fun time with your family, take a few moments to cool down. Sit on the floor and do some stretches together. Recap the funny moments you just had and make plans for the next exercise session. Talk about the importance of drinking water when the weather is hot. Discuss how exercise is beneficial. Ask each other questions about goals and hopes for the coming day!
Let us know what you thought of the workout!
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