Families around the world are learning how to navigate one shared domain to tackle everything from multiplication tables to boardroom meetings. As we adapt to living inside, it also raises some unique opportunities for parents and their children to spend more time together—and lots of parents are finding it challenging to keep everyone engaged, active, and safe.
Gyms and studios can help families enjoy the time they have together by offering virtual fitness classes that invite the whole family to participate. The following guide explains tips on how to make your web-based routines suitable for all ages.
1. Focus on Aerobics
With everyone limited to their house or apartment, most people don’t walk 10,000 steps—or even half of that—on an average day. But you don’t need to travel great distances to get a powerful cardiovascular workout.
Use aerobic exercises to get hearts pumping and energize your workout routine. In doing so, you can boost endorphin levels, increase lung capacity, alleviate stress, and help everyone sleep a little easier at night
High-intensity training can also help kids burn off energy—which parents will surely appreciate.
2. Use Familiar Calisthenic Exercises
Stick to exercises kids will already know so you don’t have to spend time explaining complex manoeuvres.
Here are a few great examples of calisthenic exercises perfect for kids and adults to build strength and muscle endurance:
- Jumping jacks
As with any beginner-level class, you should demonstrate modifications, like putting both knees down during a pushup. Small adjustments ensure even young children can keep up.
3. Lead a Simple Yoga Flow
Kids are flexible and love showing off their skills in yoga. It’s also fun to make a game out of remembering the names of poses (most of which refer to animals) and memorize the corresponding choreography—kind of like an improvised dance.
Here are some easy beginner poses you can include in a family-friendly yoga class.
- Downward facing dog
- Happy baby
Try to switch up your routines to give everyone a unique experience every time they log in. As people become more familiar with the positions, pick up the pace and help squeeze in a little extra aerobic movement with a Vinyasa flow.
4. Start With High Energy
Particularly for an online class, the first 5-10 minutes are the most critical. During this time, attendees will decide whether they should stick around for the entire session or switch to something new. To keep your attendees engaged throughout the session, start every class with enthusiasm. Use animated body movements, large gestures, and an upbeat, confident tone.
5. Use an Assistant
It’s difficult to project when you’re in the middle of a forward bend. If there’s another person in your household, ask them to demonstrate the routine with you so you can talk during exercises and keep an eye on the screen.
Having an assistant also gives you more opportunities to engage with viewers directly, and the interaction between two people can make the overall production more interesting and dynamic.
If you’re hosting a class with kids, save the last five minutes or so to let them completely unleash in a wild dance party. Dance lets them express themselves creatively and really shake out their energy. They’ll also get a kick out of seeing their instructor join in on the action.
7. Keep Everything in Perspective
The most important thing during an online family-friendly fitness class is to focus on having fun and being safe—it’s okay if the kids don’t have perfect form, for example, as long as they’re entertained and active.
Try to embrace the absurdity and let loose. Everyone is looking for a little levity to help them through these challenging times, and if they find an outlet in your class, they’ll keep coming back for more sessions in the future.