There are so many activities to do with the kids, you need to select ones that will offer the most benefits for the time spent. You can’t be everything or do everything for your kids, but you can take steps to get your kids excited about fitness. Today, aside from kids whose parents put them on the fast track to Olympic challenger or college scholarship, often spend more time playing video games or in front of the TV. It’s time to change that and put activity back into their life, but it requires you to be part of the equation, not just coaching from the sidelines.
Get a “two-fer” when you exercise.
You’ll always get good bonding time that kids will remember forever, but you can also get another benefit, besides healthy exercise and bonding. If you choose hiking and exploring as part of the program, there’s a lot to learn in nature. Even kids who are more involved in science will appreciate a day spent walking at the museum. It’s not a get-your-heart-pumping-fast workout, but walking is a healthy way to exercise.
Play games or do yard work to build strength.
When you have the right attitude, everything can be fun. Something as simple as moving a dining room chair can become part of an imaginary game of saving the world from a monster. Raking leaves brings big rewards when you let the children jump in the pile when they’re done. Sure, that means more raking, but it also means more exercise for everyone and lots of fun. Check your logic at the door and see the world through the eyes of a child. You’ll find some of the simplest things can be fun and may even change your mind about exercise.
Turn on the music and start working out, sharing your exercise program with the kids can be fun. While there are all types of ways to get exercise, an actual workout can be fun too. There are kid friendly routines or they can join you in your workout, as long as it’s not high intensity weight training. Let them do as much as they can. You’ll be amazed at how well they do. Make it fun with balance balls and don’t worry if they goof off and giggle a bit. Teach them the right form for each type of exercise and include body weight exercises like squats, push-ups and planks. Keep it fun and enjoy the time together.
- Turn on the music and spend a few minutes dancing with the kids. It doesn’t have to be formal dancing, just getting your body moving is enough.
- Your personal trainer can help you pick the exercises to share with your kids. While you may not be able to gauge the number of reps, your kids will let you know when they’ve had enough.
- Try to mix it up a bit and include a variety of things for family fitness, from laser tag to bike riding. Let each person have a turn in picking the activity they want to do.
- Your attitude toward fitness is what sets the stage for their attitude. Always keep it positive and never refer to exercising as punishment or something you hate to do.