The Best Exercise-At-Home Ideas for Families

Join a keiki fitness class for free, dance to kiddie music videos and keep moving when city parks open.


Many of us are choosing to stay home more than in years past, but it’s still important for families to exercise and move together. Staying active will strengthen immune systems and improve mental health.


With that, here are fun, free ways to get everyone in your home to move!


1. Encourage Grandparents To Work Out


Got grandparents and elderly family members who haven’t been outside since the lockdown? Introduce them to YMCA Honolulu’s “Virtual Y,” a series of free on-demand exercise videos.


Try a chair workout with Dee, a happy trainer at the Windward YMCA. He uses light dumbbells in the video, but weights aren’t necessary for an effective workout.


There are five videos for tai chi, a slow and gentle exercise that’s easy on joints and muscles. To prevent falls, remind grandparents to hold onto (or stay close to) a sturdy object, and to keep their feet and weight grounded.


If they’re already active, here’s a strength-training class for fit folks in their golden years. Again, remind them to go easy to avoid injuries.


We also like this 15-minute yoga session for back pain.


There are additional “Virtual Y” videos for kid athletes; fans of booty, barre and bootcamp also have their own workouts. Click here to view the entire collection.



2. Walk or Sprint Across City Parks


Photo: Getty Images


We’re excited for city parks to reopen on Saturday, April 25. Kids can learn to be kids again!


For a list of parks, visit this link and scroll down to “Park Locations” organized into five districts. When you click on a park’s name, the address and Google map location will appear.


City-run botanical gardens are scheduled to open their gates on Friday, May 1.


Don’t expect these to open yet: city-run campgrounds, swimming pools, golf courses, skate and off-leash dog parks.


Wherever you go, please remind keiki they aren’t allowed to use city-run playground equipment, per official orders.


Studies have found that the new coronavirus can stick to plastic and stainless-steel surfaces for up to three days. For more details, read this scientific study from the National Institutes of Health.


SEE ALSO: Join HONOLULU Family’s Virtual Fun Run

3. Move Your Creative Minds and Bodies


Turn your backyard into a makeshift stage where kids can unleash their creative energies.


To get started, visit Honolulu Theatre for Youth’s website for drama activities that families can play together. If your kids have attended HTY’s Summer Drama programs, Ms. Olive and Lily in the videos might look familiar as they show kids how to use their imaginations and perform impromptu stories.


Big, exaggerated gestures, full-body movements and facial expressions count as “exercise,” right?


4. Dance To Animated Music Videos


Got kids who love a good beat? Raise the bar on family dance parties with GoNoodle, a free program offering hundreds of movement-based videos for children. You can browse the GoNoodle website or download the app available on iOS and Android.


GoNoodle Games” uses Open CV-based computer vision and machine learning technology to detect movements. Kids can jump, dance and wiggle around, and you don’t have to install additional hardware.


A new feature, “GoNoodle: Good Energy at Home” launched in March to help families during the pandemic. Find high-energy dance videos, as well as mindfulness exercises on the Good Energy channel.


5. Learn Kid-Friendly Yoga Moves For Stress-Relief


Resilience and positive minds will help families get through another month of lockdown.


Yoga Ed.—a yoga education program for teachers and other adults who work with children—made available its “Yoga and Mindfulness For Children & Teens” videos for free.


Click here to access the videos.


You can use the yoga videos for P.E. classes at home, or for brain breaks during your children’s virtual school days. Keiki will learn breathing exercises, yoga poses, games, visualizations and relaxation activities.


SEE ALSO: Honolulu Magazine’s April Stay at Home Fitness Challenge 


6. Join a Free Fitness Class Every Friday


i9 Sports—the youth athletics program that wins Best of HONOLULU Family honors every year—in early April began offering virtual classes on Zoom. The program is called “Family Fun Fitness Fridays” or “F-4” for short.


At first, the program was exclusive to i9 members. Now that it’s up and running, program leaders want to share their passion for fitness with other families with young children.


Follow i9’s Facebook page to inquire about the Zoom classes and to learn about year-round sports programs.