In this fast-paced world that we live in today, you may be wondering how to get your kids to exercise. Well as a mother of two small children myself, I also think about ways to keep my little ones active. Different personalities call for me to be creative at times, but it’s all about keeping our kids healthy and happy right?! So in an effort to be a superhero parent here are 9 tips on how to get your kids to exercise.
1. Monkey See, Monkey do
If you really want to know how to get your kids to exercise, it's important to be active yourself. As parents we set the example for our children every single day - even when you don’t think they are watching, you better believe that they are. Children (especially younger ones) mimic everything that their parents are doing. We are our children’s first role models, so don’t let them down. Allow them to see you exercise and be active. Instead of doing your abs workout at the gym, do it at home with the kids. Buy a set of light-weight dumbbells to teach them proper form with bicep curls, tricep extensions and shoulder presses. Be that fitness role model for your children.
2. Join a Team
Team sports are a definite way to get young ones exercising as well as socializing. Being competitively active among peers encourages kids to remain consistent in an active lifestyle. Try to hone in on some of the skills that your children have mastered in order to make the best selection of sport for them to join. Check with your local YMCA and your child’s school for enrolling in team sports.
3. Enjoy the Great Outdoors
When the weather is great and the sun is shining, it makes for the perfect opportunity to take playtime outside. Bring it back to the good ole days of playing tag, hide-n-seek, red light-green light, kickball, riding bikes and climbing trees. Show these kiddos the way we used to have fun and stay active! Everyone gets exercise and you get to have fun with your kids.
4. Exercise for Gamers
Do you have an avid gamer on your hands? Well get them excited about exercise using their favorite tool! Nintendo Wii Fit or Xbox 360 Just Dance are just two examples of exercise based video games. Not only will the kids have fun with this but they will also get in some exercise too. But hey, who said video games were just for kids?! Join them for some gaming fun!
5. Field Day Games at Home
Set-up a field day competition in the back yard and have your kids invite their friends over for some friendly competition. Some different events to include may be the long jump, short races, free throw contest, push up contest, pull up contest, sit up contest... well you get the idea. Challenge them to push themselves physically and at the end of the day reward them with certificates, sporting equipment or maybe even cash!
6. Take a Hike!
No, really, go for a hike. This gets the kids outdoors and into nature. Including a scavenger hunt is a great way to make it a bit more interesting and encourages them to really get involved and pay attention to their surroundings. Nothing like getting exercise and some fresh air in the good outdoors.
7. Dance, Dance, Dance
Dance class is awesome for those that may be a bit more artsy or for those that just love to dance. Enrolling your child in a hip-hop class, ballet or ballroom dance class will get them active for at least an hour 1-2 times per week. Some other benefits of learning dance are improved posture, positive socializing, boosted confidence, and it also reduces stress. So, get your dance on!
8. Yard Work and Gardening
Okay so some of you may be thinking there is NO way I’m going to get my teen/pre-teen to garden. Well that just might be the case, but the younger ones will most likely be all in. I know that my 3 year old and 4 year old jump at the chance of getting elbow deep in some good ole dirt! As far as the older ones, raking leaves, mowing the lawn (with a push mower of course) or trimming tree branches could be more their speed. They’ll be using muscles that they didn’t even know they had.
9. Walking Vs. Riding
If you live within walking distance to your child’s school, the grocery store, the library or maybe even their favorite FroYo place, walk there instead or driving/riding. What’s more rewarding than a big serving of FroYo with extra toppings after a nice walk?! I know would do almost anything for a yummy chocolate and fruit covered treat!
So there you have it, some fun ways to get those kiddos moving and exercising. Which of these tips do you think your kids will enjoy?