Playing sports is not the only way to help kids stay fit. So if your kids are taking a break this summer from organized sports or if they have decided not to play sports again, there are still some fun ways to get a work-out. Try these ideas for some variety in your fitness quest.
Help Kids Stay Fit: It’s a Lifestyle
- Get fit as a family. Eating dinner together is not the only way you can connect with your family. Go outside after dinner and shoot hoops or play a game of H-O-R-S-E. Set up a volleyball or badminton net and compete parents vs. kids or boys vs. girls. How about a game of horseshoes or frisbee? Even if you already had your gym workout and the last thing you feel like doing is going outside and exercising again, remember that this is a great way to be with your kids and get them into the fitness habit.
- Turn back the clock. Bring back some activities from your childhood, like skipping, hop scotch, hide and seek, tag and red light/green light. These backyard games are great for developing coordination and memory.
- Set up an exercise course in your back yard. Create your own exercise course using household supplies: cans instead of dumbbells, a stool for step exercises, a mop to hop over and a table or chair for push-ups. Show your kids that they can do a workout any time, anywhere. You don’t need to spend hours in a gym to be healthy and get strong.
- Get the Pets Involved. Is Scruffy gaining some weight? Animals need exercise too. Go for a walk/run/ with your kids and the dog.
- Mark it on the calendar. Make it a point to either get outside with your kids or be sure they are exercising every day. If you are a busy family, you may have to be more intentional about family fitness times by marking it on the calendar. You could even make a plan for the week and post it on the fridge of what each day’s fitness fun will be.
- Get your kids the right equipment. Give your children tools that encourages physical activity. Instead of buying gifts that encourage them to sit on the couch, get them things they can use to be active, like balls, cones, jump ropes. A healthy lifestyle is a great gift to give your child.
- You run while they bike. This is a win-win situation because you are both getting fit. It also works with your child riding a scooter.
- Crank Up the Music. When it’s rainy or too hot to go outside, turn on the music and have a dance fest. My kids used to spend many afternoons, dancing around the family room to music. And when Mom or Dad enters the fun, it’s even better!
- Train for a Race. If your kids are older or big enough, train for a race with them. Start small, like a 5K and work up, or do the color run.
- Plan a family outing. Instead of going to a theme park and riding roller coasters, try a family outing that requires some exercise: kayaking, paddle-boarding, water-skiing, hiking to a beautiful spot, biking a scenic trail.
- Give an Incentive. If you see your kids working towards a fitness goal, giving them a reward is not always a bad thing. As long as it’s not junk food!
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