Fun indoor family workouts
Family working out at home

This article is part of a series in collaboration with ParticipACTION. Discover how "Everything gets better when you get active!"


Families that are active together share the physical, emotional and psychological benefits that come with moving their bodies regularly. They happy better, sleep better, heal better and even learn better

Adults and kids both need to take part in regular heart-rate-boosting physical activity to maintain overall health and well-being. Kids aged 5 to 17 should get 60 minutes of moderate-to-physical activity every day, while adults between the ages of 18 and 64 are advised to get around 20 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day or 150 minutes every week.

Despite these needs and the bonuses of meeting them, the ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth and the ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Adults found that most kids and adults living in Canada just aren’t getting enough daily physical activity for optimal health.

Tackling those daily requirements doesn’t have to be a chore. Families can work up a heart-healthy sweat together at home by taking part in fun, fast and highly effective indoor workouts once or twice a week.

Start adding up those health-sustaining active minutes with ParticipACTION’s fast and fun 10- to 15-minute cardio blast for families.

Fun indoor family workouts
Play: Fun indoor family workouts


The warm-up

Start the timer and spend two minutes marching in place to warm up your lower body. Swing your arms to warm up your upper body.

How to do it:

Do each of the exercises below for a set timed interval before moving on to the next. Perform the entire cycle once or twice through. You can adapt the effort to suit your abilities: 

·       Beginner: Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with 10 seconds’ rest in between.

·       Intermediate: Perform each exercise for 45 seconds with 15 seconds’ rest in between.

·       Advanced: Perform each exercise for 60 seconds with 30 seconds’ rest in between.

The five exercises

1.      Shadow skipping

Pretend you’ve got a skipping rope in your hands and start “skipping” by turning your wrists as if you’re holding a rope and jumping with two feet.

Modification: If jumping isn’t suitable for you, do the exercise from a seated position.

Repeat until the interval is done.

2.      Bear crawl

Crouch down like a bear, with your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart, and with your legs bent and knees off the floor (the weight should be in your toes). Start crawling forward using your opposite arm and leg. Move forward four steps and then move back.

Modification: Standing or seated mountain climber. Either from a seated or standing position, engage your core and lift your left knee to waist height and extend your right arm over your head. Switch sides. Repeat until the interval is done.

3.      Superhero

Lie face down on the floor with your arms and legs outstretched. Lift your arms and legs up 3-4 inches from the ground as if you’re a superhero “flying”. Hold them up and outstretched for three seconds then lower. Repeat until the interval is done.

4.      Duck walk

Stand with your feet wide, toes turned slightly out. Now lower into a squat. Keep your head up and your gaze straight as you walk around the room, rolling through your foot heel to toe like a duck. For an extra challenge, put your hands behind your head. If balance is an issue, hold your arms out in front of you.

Modification: Wide-leg seated march. Sit with your back against a chair, your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Engage your core as you lift one leg and then the other in a marching position.

Repeat until the interval is done.

5.      Star jump

Start off in a crouched position with your feet together and arms at your sides. From your crouch position, jump off the ground, extending your arms and legs out like a star. Land gently back in your crouch.

Modification: Seated star jump. Sit with your back against the chair and your legs together. Extend your arms and legs out like a star. Bring them back in to the starting position.

Repeat until the interval is done.


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