Hoping to exercise more in 2012? Here’s some new inspiration! Get your whole family moving and feeling great with simple moves that kids (and grown-ups!) of any age can do. Start your winter mornings with one of these quick exercises and you’ll be on your way to an energy-filled day.
Brr! It’s chilly out! Help your family generate some heat with Conductor Breath, a yoga-inspired breathing exercise that increases oxygen levels and blood flow to provide warming energy, says Lisa Flynn, founder of ChildLight Yoga, a company that offers yoga programs for kids and families. Begin by standing with your feet hip distance apart. Start to inhale through your nose while bringing your arms straight out front. Inhale a little more while swinging your arms out to the side, then inhale fully while swinging arms all the way over the head. Forcefully exhale to make a “ha!” sound while letting your arms and torso fall between your legs. Use the momentum of the fall to bounce back up to the starting position. Repeat 4 to 5 times.
This Chinese practice has helped people balance and boost energy for thousands of years, says Acharya Sri Kahdi Madama, a certified qigong instructor. Try the move Shooting the Bow and Arrow with your kids: Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands laced together at your belly. Inhale, and lift hands to chest level. Separate the hands, and rotate your palms outward. Keep your left palm open and form a fist with your right hand. Slowly bring the right arm forward and left arm back, as if pulling back a bow. Look back at your left hand, then exhale, returning arms and hands to the original position. Switch hands and repeat.