Children need physical activity to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Kids who exercise perform better in school and are less likely to develop heart disease. Getting your children involved in fitness activities at an early age will help them develop healthy habits. However, don’t expect them to care or even understand the benefits of fitness. They are primarily interested in having fun, and this is what you should be encouraging.
Here are some ideas for activities you can carry out with your children:
1) Schedule regular playtime
Make time for fun exercises with your children about three times a week. You could schedule these sessions after dinner or after school. Kids below the age of 7 may enjoy games such as hide-and-seek or hopscotch. Older children may enjoy shooting hoops or kicking ball. Family activities can also be planned each weekend, such as taking them to the park, swimming pool, or going on a simple hike.
2) Sign up for classes
Some gyms offer programs for both parents and their children. You’ll have a trainer guiding these classes so everyone can have fun. Helping your kids develop motor skills and coordination while staying fit is one of the most rewarding things you can do. If you commit to joining a class, you will be motivated to keep exercising with your children.
Alternatively, there are sports activities you can take part in or even coach. For example, teaching a toddler to kick a football can be exhausting for all parties. The goal is to make choices that keep your children active. Not only will you feel fitter, but your kids will also see workouts as playtime.
3) Modify workouts
You can have a little play with your regular exercises, with your kids doing them along with you. This might involve modifying training moves to suit their ability. For example, children can perform push-ups from the knees, or simply lie on their stomachs and straighten their arms, while you do normal push-ups with your toes on the floor and your back and legs straight.
With hand weights, you can also get them to do chest presses, triceps raises and bicep curls. Water bottles, wooden blocks and beanbags are some props that can be used by younger kids as weights.
4) Get outdoors
Today’s digital world, where even physical activities can be conducted with video games, has resulted in a loss of outside playtime. Unfortunately, children get used to screen time from an early age, and many parents don’t appreciate the beauty of nature. Taking your kids to a nearby outdoor playground is one of the easiest ways for you to engage in physical exercise with them. You can even get them interested in exploring nature by going with them to look for insects or spot other wildlife.
5) Walk, run and bike together
When you walk, run or ride a bike, let your children join you. Toddlers and babies could ride in a jogging stroller, bike seat or bike trailer. While you jog or walk, your older kids can get their workout on bikes, tricycles, in-line skates or kick-scooters.
Themed virtual runs are also becoming very popular, where you can sign up for a run together with your kids to complete a given distance at your own pace within a certain time period. Getting finisher medals or prizes after reaching the goal can be something to get the children excited over.
Remember, the key is to make exercise fun for children and inculcate the habit in them to adopt an active lifestyle for young. While the thought of preparing and executing these activities may feel daunting and tiring, the quality time spent together and getting fit as a family is beyond rewarding. It’s ultimately going to be a win-win for both parents and kids!