Easy anywhere exercises
Iowa’s 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count program is aimed at instilling healthy eating and physical activity habits among children and teens. This nationally-recognized and science-based program has four key components to help families make healthy choices each and every day.
- 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day
- 2 hours or less of screen time
- 1 hour of physical activity
- 0 sugary drinks – more water!
If it’s too cold to go outside or your family doesn’t have access to a gym, below are five anywhere exercises to get your heart pumping and your muscles working.
1. Crabby Crab Walks (we think it helps when the exercise has a fun name!)
Start by sitting on the floor with your feet hip-distance apart in front of you and your arms behind your back with fingers facing hips. Lift hips and bottoms off the floor and tighten your stomach. Start “walking” forward by moving your left hand followed by your right foot; and then your right hand followed by your left foot. Walk four or more steps as space allows, then walk back. Continue back and forth for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
2. Jumping Jacks & Jumping Jills
Start out with this move by stepping up one foot out, then the other. As you feel comfortable, work up to jumping both feet out at one time and bring your arms out into a V-position at the same time. Start out with 10 and work your way up to 20 jumping jacks.
3. Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes
This is a nursery song that gets you moving and is great for preschool and younger elementary school-age kids. Start off singing slowly and then the next time pick up the pace. Here’s a link to the full lyrics.
4. March, Jog, Jump
Just starting out? March in place for 10 – 30 seconds. Jog in place for 10 – 30 seconds and then do mini hops in place for 10 – 30 seconds. Repeat the series three times starting out at 10 seconds each and then increasing it the next time you do it. This simple exercise gets the heart pumping and works your calve and thigh muscles.
5. Molly Mountain Climbers
Start in a push-up position facing the floor. A slight hop and bring one foot forward under your body towards your elbow on the same side. Then a slight hop and switch feet, bringing the opposite up towards your other elbow. Essentially you want to pump your right and left feet towards your outer elbows like you were climbing. Try to do three sets of 10.
Encourage the whole family to try a combination of these anywhere exercises for up to 30 minutes each day. Regular physical activity is essential to maintain a healthy weight and prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and osteoporosis.
Want more exercises to try to get your heart pumping? Read more Iowa 5-2-1-0 resources.