How to Create Kids Workouts to Keep Your Members Engaged
By Lauren McAlister
Right now, many parents aren't only working from home—they're working from home, homeschooling kids, and looking to keep their families active and entertained.
If you're a parent who owns a fitness studio or gym, you may be balancing the above while also navigating various changes to your business due to COVID-19.
You, especially, understand how important it is to keep kids engaged and moving. So, provide your own family—as well as your clients' families—with exercise programming fit for all.
Not a parent? Not a problem. Your clients with families will love that you're keeping their needs—and their kids—in mind.
Here's how to get started:
Make it fun
Kids, typically, are more into playing sports and having fun than "working out" or "getting their cardio in." So, focus on fitness classes for kids that include playing games, dancing, and laughing, rather than jumping, lunging, or squatting (of course, you can sneak a few of those bodyweight and cardio movements in there too).
Create an obstacle course, take your kiddos on an imaginary adventure (have them run away from something, jump over things, etc.) use a deck of cards, or roll a set of dice to make playtime/indoor P.E. more like a game and less like a structured workout. Our fitness studio, McAlister Training, is famous among our clients (kids included) for our "Deck of Cards" workout that associates fun bodyweight movements with each suit. (For instance, each heart card that’s drawn is jumping jacks. If a seven of hearts is revealed, the whole family does seven jumping jacks.) It works well as a workout for both parents and children alike.
Lose the workout equipment
To make your kid-friendly workouts accessible to all ages, focus on bodyweight movements and yoga poses, or use sports equipment, stuffed animals, or pillows to switch the workout up. Dance parties can add a dose of cardio into your fitness classes, too.
Align with their interests
Encourage your parent-members to customize workouts to their children's interests. For example, if kids are into basketball or soccer, have them incorporate a ball into exercises. Are they especially into music? Ask them to help create a playlist to dance to.
Keep it short and sweet
A forty-five minute or hour workout might make sense for an adult but for most kids, it's too much. Keep workouts or challenges to thirty minutes or less and/or separate them into smaller segments for kids to get moving a few minutes every day of the week. Remix Fitness in Horsham, Pennsylvania offers a free, thirty-minute “Remix Recess” workout on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons to get kids moving and give parents a break. See what else Remix Fitness is doing during COVID-19.
Involve the whole family
Parents lead by example daily (if you have kids, you know this intimately). Moving your body and staying healthy with fitness, especially right now, shows the entire family just how important it is. Get everyone in on the fun during a workout with movements that make sense for all ages (mom and dad included).
Zooga Yoga in Culver City, California is doing just that at their yoga studio. Their unique brand of yoga offers classes for children of all ages, including parents. Founder and Owner, Antonia King says: "We are bringing edutainment, interactive , and high energy classes to homes, because we have the experience, capacity, and background to do this. We hope you all are as entertained as we are!”
Don't rely on live stream alone
Live streaming can be a fun, interactive way to engage your community (here’s how to get started). However, you'll want to share the recording for those who can't make it live or need to pause and don't want to miss out. With kids, things often don't go as planned—including exercising at home—but with a recording, clients can pick up where they left off whenever it works best. Check out these tips for filming pre-recorded workouts.
Right now, families are finding their new norm (and a new schedule). As a fitness business owner, you have the opportunity to help your clients, and their families, make movement a part of that new routine. Plus, if you're a parent and a business owner, you'll help maintain healthy habits for your family, too.