With all of the electronic options these days, it’s a wonder kids ever get exercise anymore. Video games, streaming television, laptops, and tablets all seem to take precedence on a child’s list of things to do. To counteract this behavior, we need to lead by example. Rather than spending our time situated in front of the computer or the television (or both!) we need to guide our families in exercise. Let’s face it – we need it as much as they do!
Go For A Swim
Swimming is a great cardiovascular workout with no resistance so it’s great even if you have muscle or joint pains. Challenge the kids to race from one spot to another. See who can tread water the longest. If your kids are capable of holding their breath, see who can dive to the bottom to retrieve dive rings or sticks. Kids love pools so it should be no challenge to keep them going in the pool.
Create Your Own Obstacle Course
Have fun at the park or in your own backyard by creating an obstacle course. Encourage your children to race from one activity to the next as they giggle their way through the course. Use activities such as Hoola Hooping, jumping rope, and hopscotch. The more creative you get, the more fun your whole family will have. Encourage the kids to jump over or climb under various obstacles. For an extra kick, set up a video camera to record the whole thing!
Break Out The Playground Games
When you’re young and having fun, you don’t realize just how much exercise you’re getting just running around on the playground. Those traditional games like hopscotch, jump rope, tag, frisbee and Red Light Green Light, will get their little hearts pumping fast. The possibilities are endless. Don’t be afraid to get creative or bring back your favorite childhood games. You’ll have a ton of fun reminiscing while everyone gets some exercise.
Go For A Ride
For most of us parents, our childhoods were spent riding our bikes around the neighborhood. Continue this tradition with your family. Bicycles, scooters, roller skates, and skateboards can all get your family out moving. If you’re looking for an even more intense workout, the Street Strider is a mobile elliptical that allows you to participate with your family and get fresh air while you’re at it. Make sure everyone is wearing their helmets too.
Turn Chores Into A Dance Party
No one loves doing chores, but it’s something that has to be done. Break the activities into small sections and crank up the music. Challenge everyone to get their task done before the song ends, which normally runs around three to four minutes. The smaller tasks will make things less overwhelming while the competitive edge will encourage the kids to hurry, boosting their heart rate and getting them moving. When everyone is finished, you can reward their hard work with a healthy snack.
However you choose to keep your family in shape, you’re all bound to have a ton of fun. Remember that competition is fun, but don’t let it hurt anyone’s feelings in the process. Encourage everyone to do their best and you all will be on your way to a healthier life.