Indoor Fitness Activities: What to do during Spring Showers

rain on window


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For more information, contact the author–Ann Fenton (afenton
1@unl.edu), Extension Educator.

Spring looks to be right around the corner.  When the weather is nice, you can go outside and take a walk or a hike.  The sunshine and the warm breeze feels great. Then, one day, it starts to rain and you can’t do those outdoor activities like you planned.  What do you do with your kids on those days?  It’s time to get creative and do fun fitness activities indoors.

Try one of these simple activities to help you get active when the weather is not so nice outside:

  • Fitness shuffle: This is a great indoor game that doesn’t require a lot of room or equipment and everyone can enjoy it. Each person receives a small bean bag or coin to put on the tops of their feet. Keeping feet together, the players “shuffle” their feet forward a little at a time to move without letting the object fall off their feet. Create a finish line and have each player race to the end. Try racing an adult against a child or to have a tag team event if you have several children.
  • Indoor obstacle course: Create a fun obstacle course using furniture in your home. You can also put two tables together and use string or yarn to create a maze that the kids can climb over and under.
  • Follow the leader: Encourage the “leader” add some active movements such as jumping jacks, running in place or hopping on one foot.
  • Dance party: Turn on your favorite tunes and move to the beat!
  • Freeze dance: When the music stops, freeze in your pose and hold it until the music begins again. Encourage everyone to move as fast as they can – jumping, bouncing, marching, wiggling - while the music is playing. 
  • Push the parents: Plant your feet and see if the kids can budge you. If you move your feet, they win. Make it a little easier for young children by standing on one foot.

How can you raise an active child?
  • Be a good role model. Active parents tend to raise active children. You influence your child’s behavior and attitude toward physical activity.
  • Set limits on screen time. Limit computer, TV and other screens to less than 2 hours a day. Try reading during inactive time rather than watching TV.
  • Make active play fun for the entire family. Let your child help fun activities that get everyone moving.



Physical activity is important for all of us, and it is not as easy to get when you can’t be outside.  When you’re stuck inside because of the weather, choose active games to keep children entertained and active.

Sources:

  1. Let’s Move Childcare - Get Kids Moving
  2. USDA’s ChooseMyPlate – Healthy Tips for Active Play
  3. 25 Exercise Games and Indoor Activities to Get Kids Moving

This article has been peer-reviewed.