Fun Family Warm-Up Activity

family physical activity
For more information, contact the author – Ann Fenton, MS, Extension Educator for Nebraska Extension in Pierce County.

Printer-Friendly PDF

A warm-up is a session which takes place prior to doing physical activity. It should include a combination of cardiovascular exercises, stretching and muscle-strengthening. The cardiovascular exercises are designed to increase circulation, body temperature and heart rate, while stretching warms the muscles and prepares them for the movements they will be required to carry out during the activity. Muscle-strengthening helps build muscle which in turn helps your bones and balance.

Most warm up sessions last between 10 and 20 minutes; this gives the body plenty of time to gradually get ready for physical activity. A fun exercise can be used to accomplish this goal as a family. One such exercise is called the “S” Trail. No equipment is needed, just a leader who makes the trail.  

  • Start out with all players in a single file line. 
  • Players follow the leader in a single file, carefully watching the person in front of them.
  • The leader makes an “S” pattern, beginning with a walk and gradually increasing their speed. The leader can alternate between a slow walk, fast walk and jog.  
  • After a certain amount of time, have players alternate so the front person goes to the back of the line. 
  • Continue until all members have had a chance to lead.

This is a fun way to get everyone involved and warmed up for the next phase of being active!


  1. Coordinated Approach to Child Health Program Kids Club:
  2. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans:   

This article has been peer-reviewed.