4 ways to ditch the babysitter and workout with your kids

Chris and Heidi Powell, parents of four, share their tips.

ByABC News via logo
August 17, 2018, 8:08 AM

There's always the “active family” on the block, the ones who run outside with their kids, go on hikes and play sports together and seem to have fun at the same time.

From Pink to Carrie Underwood to Patriots star Tom Brady, celebrities love working out with their kids, too.

But how do they do it?

Chris and Heidi Powell, the hosts of "Extreme Weight Loss" and creators of the Transform app, are here to help.

PHOTO: Chris and Heidi Powell share family workout tips on "Good Morning America."
Chris and Heidi Powell share family workout tips on "Good Morning America."

The super-fit couple and parents of four children ages 4 to 13 appeared on “Good Morning America” Friday to share how they found success in making exercise fun for their whole family.

Grab your sneakers, ditch the babysitter and get your sweat on with your kids with these tips.

1. Start early

The Powells said they let their kids play around them, as infants, while they were working out. Between sets, the couple would play with the kids to make the connection between exercise and fun.

The result, they say, is that seeing mom and dad workout every day has become the kids' normal.


"It's so important to teach kids the importance of keeping their bodies moving," Chris Powell said. "And if they see it from when they're young, it will become their norm."

2. Turn it into a game

A deck of cards can turn into a family workout, an exercise game the Powell family has played for years.

An exercise is assigned to each suit in the deck of cards. The number on the cards dictates the number of reps of that exercise to be done.


Royal cards, aces, and jokers equal 10 repetitions of the exercise.

Here are five kid-friendly exercises to try for this game, as described by Chris Powell.

Bear walk: Bend your knees and crawl like a bear. Do this by simply moving your left paw (hand) and right foot forward at the same time and then switch sides. My kids love this, and it’s great for their shoulder and posterior chain.

Froggy squat: Squat down, fingertips on the ground between your legs for support. Leap up high in the air and tell your kids to try touching the clouds.

Dive bomber: Start in downward dog yoga pose. In a single motion, bend your elbows while lowering your chest, then stomach, to the ground... then push them forward and up while arching your back—like Ariel sitting on her rock. Return to downward dog.

Star jack: This one is fun, because who doesn’t want to be a star?! It’s like a jumping jack, only instead of hopping feet out to the side, jump straight up while spreading apart legs and arms in midair.

Superman: Help your little ones find their inner superhero with this one. Lie on your belly with your arms stretched out in front. Arch your back, lifting your chest, arms, and legs off of the ground as though you’re wearing a cape and flying. Hold briefly and return to starting position

3. Create an obstacle course

The Powells' 7-year-old son, Cash, loves ninjas so they create obstacle courses that they call ninja courses.

"It's great because the kids can race against each other and you can find a lot of the stuff [in the course] doesn't require any new equipment or can be done using stuff around the house," said Heidi Powell.

Some examples of stops on an obstacle course can include fast feet through an agility ladder or tape placed on the ground and a ball toss, just throwing a tennis ball into a bucket from 10-feet away.


"We mix and match balance, agility, accuracy and coordination movements with strength and endurance moves to keep it fun and get them comfortable with the feeling of exercise," explained Chris Powell. "[The kids are] totally distracted by racing against the clock."

4. Control screen time

If your child is a fan of video games, try having mimic the movements in the video game so they are active while they're playing.

The Powells encourage their kids, for example, to do the dances in Fortnite, a popular video game, while they play.

PHOTO: Chris and Heidi Powell share family workout tips on "Good Morning America."
Chris and Heidi Powell share family workout tips on "Good Morning America."

They always reward their kids' activity with screen time.

"We have them do things like squats, push ups and sit ups and reward them with 30 minutes of screen time when they're done," Chris Powell said.