Guest Post By Anissa Harris and Joanne Taylor – See Anissa’s bio here – Anissa’s Bio Jan 2020
Let’s dance, get fit and have fun dancing up a storm into St. Patrick’s Day!
At any age or fitness level, these tips will help you and your child (or children) have fun and stay fit together. Best of all, it can be a spontaneous, squeezed into however many spare moments you have between all the things that make up a busy life.
Roughly plan a fifteen-minute workout by choosing your top four or five songs, building the warm up into the beginning of the first song and slowing for a cool down towards the middle of the last song.
Working out together is a great way to be together making happy joyful memories and can lead your child into a happy, healthy relationship with their own bodies and with you! Don’t forget to wear comfortable clothes!
1 – Music selection is completely your choice but try choosing upbeat, happy music like Can’t Stop the Feeling, Happy, Uptown Funk, Call Me Maybe or one of our favourites, The Git Up, The Chicken Dance or the Cupid Shuffle.
2 – Make a safe space to dance in. Clearing an area is essential. Be aware of tripping hazards, especially wires, toys, or shoes. If you need to, use green painter’s tape to mark out areas on the floor.
3 – Make sure everyone hydrates. Have water bottles filled and easy to reach. If using glasses, keep them up off the floor so no one kicks them over.
4 – Warm up. Try the following warm up stretches and remember to start off slow. Ask your kids if they have any stretching exercises they’d like to show you.
- Stand, face one another and start by doing hip circles. Do a circular motion with your hips one way, then the other. Do this at least 5x in each direction.
- Continuing to stand, do small arm circles in one direction, building up to large arm circles. Alternate directions and do large to small arm circles. Try this at least 2x on each side.
- Star Toe Touches are fun to do together too. Stand with arms and legs straight out like a star, then bend to touch toes with each hand touching the opposite foot. Don’t feel like you need to do it in time to the music if it’s too fast a beat. Do at least 3x each side.
- March on the spot for at least 10 steps and then rise up on your tippy toes and slowly let your heels come back down. Put your arms out to the sides to help keep your balance.
5 – Dance moves like the Chicken Dance or The Floss are fun to do but you can wiggle twirl, and jump the whole time. Don’t worry how you look – just focus on how you feel! Look easy country line dancing or hip hop moves. It doesn’t matter the type of dance, just that you’re dancing and more importantly, dancing together. You’ll be amazing how much of a workout you get and how much fun it is.
6 – Cool down and stretch it out
- Squat, breath and reach starts with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart. Squat down and cross the arms in front of the body. As you straighten your legs back up, coming out of your squat, take a deep breath in and reach your arms up over your head. Repeat 5x in total if you can. Count each one loudly.
- Keep your feet slightly wider than your hip width apart as you do the side lunge and rea Lunge to one side, keeping your knee aligned above your ankle. Slightly lean towards the bent knee side, lifting the opposite arm up over your head. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then alternating sides. Try to repeat this one 5x and count down from five together.
- For the Cat-Cow, position yourself on all 4’s. Round out your back by tucking your chin and tailbone under and hollowing out through the tummy and chest. Follow this with arching your back. Drop your hips and point your tailbone and chest to the sky. Alternate “cat-cow positions approximately 5x and for fun, make the animal noises at the same time!
- The Cobra pose starts by lying on your stomach. Place your hands under your shoulders, at the side of your chest. Push your arms straight up, lifting your torso off the floor. Keep your hips down, your tummy and chest lifted and your shoulders relaxed down. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Repeat 2x. Can you make a hissing sound last the entire 15-30 seconds while you’re holding this pose?
- Start the Child’s pose on your hands and knees. Spread your knees wide and draw your feet together. Now sit your hips back onto your heels. Allow your forehead to rest on the floor if you can. Reach your arms straight out in front of your head. Hold for 15-30 seconds.
7 – You’re all done so make sure you hydrate and hug it out (insert high five or fist pump depending on your child.) Be sure to replace the fluids in your body and quench your thirst.
Lastly, for extra fun and to add variety, try dressing up in tutus, tiaras or cat costumes, blowing up a few balloons to play with while you dance, making it a video party, or dancing together outside!
Get creative and feel free to add in yoga moves, gymnastics moves, a dance-off or an acro-balancing move.
Hope this gets you moving, making fun memories and dancing together starting this St. Patrick’s Day!