If lousy weather is producing a bumper crop of couch potatoes around your house, try injecting some movement into your family's day.

Two girls in sunny room, one doing jumping jacks
Credit: Photograph by Ty Milford

"Jumping jacks are a great cardiovascular exercise that helps you use a lot of your muscle mass, consume a lot of oxygen, and burn calories," explains Neal Pire, Director of Sports Performance at Volt Fitness in Glen Rock, New Jersey. Even better, a good cardio workout can "help control blood sugar and mood, and balance your energy," says Pire. To see for yourself, try these with your kids.

Three jumping jacks illos
Credit: Illustrations by Robert Prince

Power Jacks (top): Start with knees slightly bent, hands and legs as shown. Jump as high as you can, extending your arms and legs, then land in the starting position.

Seal Jacks (middle): Start with bent knees and arms as shown. Jump your legs apart, spreading your arms, then jump back to the starting position.

Ski Jacks (bottom): Move your arms up and down as you would in a standard jack but alternate your feet forward and back with each jump as if cross-country skiing.

Originally published in the November 2013 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

Family Fun