How to Squeeze a Workout into Your Homeschool Day
I enjoy working out. It keeps me feeling energetic, and takes away the “grumpies.” Yet, when you are homeschooling a large family from early morning until late in the afternoon, it can be really hard to sneak in a workout.
Exercise We Need
Our bodies require several different kinds of exercise. Stretching keeps us limber and prevents muscle injury. Aerobic exercise works out our heart so we can live a long life. Lifting weights builds muscle (postpones the sagging), and strengthens our bones, preventing osteoporosis. Balance keeps us steady on our feet.
There are some types of exercise that give us all four ingredients. The one that comes to my mind is ballet. Since most of us can’t afford ballet lessons or don’t a have a barre at home, I suggest combining different exercises during the week.
You can put together a quick three minute stretch when you pop out of bed. Simply lift your hands way up and hold, stretch them out sideways and hold; repeat five times. (You should feel it in your waist and arms.) Then stretch your legs apart and move side to side, stretching out your thighs; repeat five times. (You should feel it in your inner and outer thighs.) Next, touch your toes and hold to the count of five; repeat five times. (You should feel it in your legs and bottom.) There! That’s super quick, but you did stretch out a little. You can add more stretches to that until you have a full 10-minute stretch each morning when you wake up.
If you have little ones, this is perfect. All kinds of music, from bluegrass to classical to disco, lend themselves to dancing together. We love to put on praise and worship music, and dance 20 minutes away. After 20 minutes, our hearts are beating fast, we are short of breath, and everyone has the wiggles out.
Our family has also discovered English country dancing, another great way to stay in shape.
From walking around the block to hiking up the mountain next door, a daily BRISK walk is beneficial to the whole family. Not only do you exercise, but you get fresh air and sunshine, too.
Your family may be big enough to be a baseball team, or play each other in basketball. If not, most sports can be adapted to whatever size your family is. Soccer is great fun and adaptable. You can divide up into two teams and set up goals on either end of your backyard. Simply dribble the ball down the field and make a goal. Soccer is great exercise. Tennis is fun, too, and you can play doubles or singles. Basketball games like H-O-R-S-E are a great games for younger kids.
Don’t forget games like Red Rover or Dodge Ball. Running races, obstacle courses, and relays will get your heart pumping, too. Bowling and miniature golf can be pricey, but can be a workout treat!
When school is finished, or after supper, it’s time for a family bike ride. Cycling is a great way to get your heart rate up and build muscle at the same time. And, of course, it takes balance to stay on a bike!
Join a Gym
We belong to the YMCA. I would go workout in a step or spin class, while the little ones went into child care for 45 minutes. The older ones would sit in a quiet spot and work on school. We did this 3 times a week for many years. Interestingly, all my children work out now that they are older, and I think it’s because they saw Momma make it a priority.
Here’s a fun idea that you can do at home: Silly & Fun Bowling Night.
If nothing else, jump move and jump! Your kids will love it!
Until next time, Happy Homeschooling,
Meredith Curtis, homeschooling mom, writer, speaker, and publisher, loves to encourage families in their homeschooling adventure. She is the author of Travel God’s World Geography curriculum, Celebrate Our Christian Heroes, American History Cookbook, Let’s Have Our Own Medieval Banquet, and Travel God’s World Cookbook. You can check out her books, curricula, unit studies, and Bible studies at PowerlineProd.com. Free Reading Lists for all ages are available at JSHomeschooling.com. Read her blogs at MeredithCurtis.com and PowerlineProd.com and listen to her podcast at Finish Well Radio.