Whether you work inside or outside of the home, finding time to exercise is often not easy. Here are free exercise videos, apps, and screen-free ideas to encourage wellness for parents and kids. These resources are in English and Chinese.
Like many busy parents, exercise is something that I have struggled to prioritize since work and kids take up most of my energy.
Before kids, I thrived on 8-10 mile runs and P90x. Now, I can hardly jump without my hips and knees falling apart!
But it’s important to devote some time for self-care, even if it’s just 15-20 minutes of low-impact exercise. This short time can give a little boost to your mood and general health.
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Here are exercise resources for busy parents and kids organized as follows:
- Screen-free exercise ideas for kids and parents
- Free English exercise videos and apps for kids and parents
- Free Chinese exercise videos for kids and parents
1. Screen-free exercise for kids and busy parents
The easiest way to get exercise with kids is going outside and getting fresh air!
For parents of infants, baby carriers and jogging strollers are the mainstays for exercising while baby naps.
Now that my kids (ages 3 and 6 years old) are growing up and getting faster, I can get some legitimate jogging in just by chasing after their scooters or playing soccer!
Indoors, if you can declutter your home, then the kids can have more freedom of movement.
We let our kids run around, play chase barefoot (eg, no slippery socks!), and play catch with our basket of balls (underhand throws only).
And my kids love to bounce on the couch (seated only for safety) and jump on the carpet!
Simple games and obstacle courses at home or in the driveway can be a fun way to mix in exercise with learning, such as:
- 10 Bilingual learning activities with painter’s tape
- 12 Sidewalk chalk activities
- Sight word soccer
- Sight word baseball-bowling
- DIY Golf reading game (free printable)
For my husband and myself, we try to multi-task and do quick workouts while they play.
Throughout the day, such as during cooking or brushing my teeth, I try to do calisthenics (exercise with one’s own body weight) like calf-raises and leg lifts. Meanwhile, my husband does push-ups and crunches next to the kids.
Explore more easy exercises for kids here.
2. Free Exercise videos and apps in English
Websites, videos, and apps can be helpful for those who are new to working out or for those who need the support of a trainer.
Here are some favorites that I have used or that have been recommended by some of you!
Exercise videos for kids
Many of you suggested Cosmic Kids Yoga which offers a commercial free subscription and videos on their YouTube channel.
The instructor mixes cartoon stories with yoga exercises.
Personally, I get distracted easily, and Cosmic Kids videos are too visually busy for me. But I had to share this after seeing several dozen of you recommend it!! This was the most popular reply!
Exercise apps for parents
- Peloton is offering a free 30 day trial for their app which includes yoga, stretching, weights, and HIIT workouts that don’t require the indoor bike. Just like with the bike, can filter class options by type, length, music, difficulty level, and instructor.
*Coupon code: If you’re thinking about buying a Peloton bike, use my referral code FFDC5A to get $100 towards accessories at purchase!
Last Christmas, we splurged on the Peloton, and it’s been the best investment. My husband and I have done more cardio in the past few months than in the last several years combined!
- Blogilates has fun, doable workouts that anyone can do, even in small living spaces. Her website also features workout calendars, and her Instagram gives reminders of exercises you can quickly do.
- Headspace offers free meditations through their app. In addition, for the rest of 2020, healthcare workers in the US can use their Headspace Plus program (need to provide NPI number).
Please remember to cancel paid apps before the trial date to avoid charges!
3. Free Exercise videos in Mandarin Chinese
I’ve bookmarked these videos a couple years ago, and many of you recommended them to me, too!
To be honest, we have rarely watched them since we get plenty of exercise between going outdoors and using the Peleton.
Chinese exercise videos for kids
- momo親子台 is a popular Taiwanese channel with yoga, exercise, and dance for toddlers and elementary aged kids. The Mandarin Chinese is very easy to understand.
- 碰碰狐！熱身體操兒歌 Pinkfong has children dancing to cartoons and popular Pinkfong songs!
Chinese exercise videos for parents
- 亞洲瑜伽Yoga Asia, a Taiwanese YouTube channel dedicated to Yoga for adults. This channel also has a few “baby and parent” yoga videos, such as this one. Subtitles are in traditional Chinese.
- 王广成 – When I was looking for Chinese 健身舞蹈 (fitness dance) videos (looking for something Zumba-esque with Chinese music), I came across this channel with a variety of dance styles. Subtitles are in simplified Chinese, but the font is difficult to read.
What are your favorite exercise videos, apps, or other resources?
Please feel free to share any favorite exercise apps, videos, or other resources in the comments!
I’d be grateful to know of more kid-friendly Chinese and Korean exercise videos!
More home learning resources for bilingual families
- Work-At-Home Bilingual Homeschool Schedule with 2 Kids
- Self-Serve Kids Water and Snack Station Makes Life Easier for Everyone
- 30 Educational Chinese YouTube Channels for Children