Jeanette Jenkins: At-Home Exercises with Kids


Busy mothers: do you find it difficult to carve out time for a daily workout? If so, Jeanette Jenkins, a.k.a. The Hollywood Trainer, recommends exercising with your kids as a way to get your (and your child’s) heart rate up every day.

“It is important to show your children the importance of regular exercise and lead by example,” says Jenkins. “Instilling a focus on regular physical activity now will help them form habits for staying fit as they grow older.”

Go Red For Women sat down with Jenkins to get her top exercise ideas that you can do in the comfort of your home or yard and with your children by your side.

Play catch

Try playing catch with your kids in the yard or a nearby park and run back and forth across the yard after every four catches, she advises.

Organize a game of tag or capture the flag

Encourage your children to invite friends over and facilitate a game of tag or capture the flag (two teams with flags on either end of a field, a member of the opposing team must get the flag without being tagged first). Join in on the game—your heart will be pumping in no time.

On rainy days, turn on the TV

It may sound a little counterintuitive, but your television can be an excellent tool for getting you and your children moving and into shape. “Mothers can put on my Cardio Kickboxing DVD, Cardio Dance DVD or Yoga DVD and do it with their children,” offers Jenkins. “All three DVDs are easy to follow and engaging enough to keep kids’ attention.”

Jump rope

Jumping rope is a workout for people of all ages. Jenkins recommends the following jump rope-focused workout:

Move 1: Jump rope for 60 seconds

Move 2: Do 10 pushups

Move 3: Do 10 sit-ups

Repeat this circuit 10 times. “Even better: try to make it a contest,” suggests Jenkins. “Whoever finishes the circuit first wins.”

Tip: Avoid the weight room

Jenkins explains that weight training can damage a child’s growth plates, so stick with fun cardio exercises like the ideas above and sports such as soccer, bike riding, rollerblading, tennis, swimming and basketball.

Find more ideas for children’s activities from the American Heart Association.