Childhood obesity is at an all-time high and this can be a concern for lots of parents. Keeping your little ones healthy requires more than just limiting sugary juices and sweet treat consumption. It’s also about encouraging your kids to stay active too, and one of the best ways to do this is through being an example for them by getting active yourself! So if your family’s gearing up to head out on an RVing excursion, keep up with your healthy habits and keep your kids active with these exercises that everyone can do while camping!
Body Weight Exercises
When packing your bags to go camping, you probably won’t have much excess space to bring along those heavy dumbbells or that bulky medicine ball. This is where body weight exercises come in. As the name implies, these basic workout movements rely on the weight of your own body to support an effective workout without any machinery or equipment necessary. You can do them almost anywhere, and at almost any age, making them a great way for the whole family to stay active while camping!
Picnic Table Tricep Dips
Position yourself with your back to the picnic table and place your hands on the bench seat with your knees bent. Keeping your back straight, slowly lower yourself until your upper arms are parallel with the ground. Then lift yourself back up by straightening your arms until they are almost locked, and then repeat.
RV Sidewall Sits
With your back pressed against the sidewall of your RV, get into the sitting position. Align your feet with your hips and keep your knees at a 90º angle. Hold this position for a set amount of time or see who in your family can hold the pose the longest! Winner gets the first s’more of the night!
Planks In The Sand
Head to the beach and get ready to sweat! Lay with your stomach on the sand or on a beach towel. Interlock your fingers and bend your elbows so that your weight is shifted to your forearms. Then dig your toes into the sand to get your footing and lift your body off the ground so that your back is straight and your butt isn’t sticking up in the air. When holding this position you should feel your core tightening.
Start by setting a distance for your race and then partner up so that one big camper is paired with one little camper. Have little campers get into the push-up position while the other campers stand at their feet. When you’re ready for the race to begin, have the big campers grip the ankles of the little campers and lift their feet so that only the palms of their hands touch the ground. Then race to the finish line by having the little campers walk forward on their hands while the big campers follow behind carrying their feet. Last one to cross the finish line has to deal with the black water tank!
Campfire Log Pass
A campfire log can be a great alternative to free weights when you’re staying in the great outdoors. For this log pass workout have your family stand in a circle with your backs to each other. If only two campers are participating, just stand back to back. Pick the size of your log with consideration to the size of your campers, and try to select a log that hasn’t been split to avoid splinters. Hold the log and twist your body to pass it to the camper next to you. The rotating motion will engage your abdominal muscles and the added weight will strengthen your core.
Fun Family Exercises
Working out just for the sake of working out can be a real drag. Luckily, there are some exciting ways to stay active that can trick your body and your mind into thinking that you’re not really exercising at all! These workouts are perfect for groups and they are very conducive to the campground environment. Give them a try and you won’t just be keeping your kids active, you’ll be making memories together too!
Fitness Scavenger Hunt
Gather around the picnic table and write down a list of things that could potentially be found in a campground. For example, a person walking a dog, a squirrel, or a park bench. Then for each item on your list, think of a corresponding exercise to go along with it. For example, ten sit ups, five push ups, or a dozen squats. Then lace up your walking shoes and hit the hiking trails. Each time you encounter an item on your list, stop wherever you’re at and complete the corresponding exercise.
For anyone not familiar with geocaching, it's a great family exercise that blends physical activity with adventure! You’ll need a GPS, as well as coordinates which can be found online according to your geographical location. Geocaching will get your gang up and moving, exploring the wilderness, and hunting for the elusive cache.
Hit The Playground
Most campgrounds feature an on-site playground and a jungle gym and this might very well be the best kind of gym there is. Do pull ups on the money bars, tricep dips at the bottom of the slides, and prop your feet up on the seat of the swings for some inverted push ups. Your kids might just run around and crawl through the tunnels or they might join in with your movements. Either way they’re staying active!
The epidemic of childhood obesity won’t be solved with a camping trip, but encouraging your child to get moving in the great outdoors might be a part of the solution, and camping is an excellent way to encourage this. Remember that when trying to keep kids active, it’s best to emphasize how fun it can be to stay healthy rather than how necessary it is to stay healthy. Do you know of any other fun exercises that everyone can do while camping. Cough em’ up by leaving a comment!