Once you have a family, some activities take the back seat. It’s fair to say that working, getting the kids to do schoolwork, and feeding everyone outranks exercise every time. However, learning which exercise is best for your family, and helping your kids to build fitness habits at an early age, will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Now this doesn’t mean that you need to put your kids in spandex and take them to the gym to start training; it’s just a matter of finding ways to make physical exercise something they want to do, and making it into a family habit.
Get involved in a sport
Encouraging your kids to get involved in a sport can have endless benefits. They could find something they are passionate about, something that connects them to others and gives them something to improve and work at. Being involved in a sport also provides kids with plenty of mental assistance as they’re growing up.
Make a goal
Staying active can be made easier if there’s something to get ready for. If you have older kids, look for relay races or events in your area that you can prepare for as a family.
The kids don’t like sports? Then play!
Maybe your kids don’t like sports. There are still ways to get on your feet without having hand-eye coordination or an affinity for sports. Especially for young children, fitting exercise into play time is essential and way more fun. Some ideas to start out:
- Turn up some music and dance
- Pull out the jump rope
- Classic Tag- You’re It!
- Make an obstacle course
- Get creative with races. Animal race? One-footed race? Cartwheeling race? They all invite more fun to family exercise.
Get some nature
Getting outside is always good for the mind and the body, and it invites opportunity to move around more, without the restraints of a cramped house space. This could mean heading for the mountains, the beach, or even just the backyard.
Walk it out when you can
It’s tempting to drive to the grocery store that is only a quarter of a mile away, or spend 15 minutes driving around ‘till you can get a parking spot 3 yards from your destination. However, when it comes to daily health, every step counts for you and your kids. Next time you want to take the family to the park for a picnic (an excellent idea), leave the car at home and enjoy the stroll.
Options are everything
Studies have been showing us for quite some time now that allowing young children to choose between options helps them with decision making and flexibility later in life. Even more immediately, involving your kids in the decision making process of your family exercise plan will help them have more commitment to it, and have more fun along the way.
Offering your kids a pool day with their friends is an offer they will not want to pass up and it will get them off the couch. Involving friends turns what could be just exercise (boring) into a play date with buddies (fun!). Going on a hike with your child and their friends could be something they beg to do again as soon as possible.
Try new things with the kids. Curiosity is one of the wonders of being a kid, and it’s important to encourage this. Look for new kinds of activities. Maybe yoga, hiking, or dancing was never an interest, but you might just find something that the kids absolutely love.
Make it consistent
When you find something that the kids love to do, nurturing that desire is essential. Whether that means signing them up for a dance class, driving them to soccer practice, or scheduling time in the week to go to the lake or the park, it will be worth it.
Adding exercise to your family norms can be a lot of work, but having a healthy, happy, and active family makes the process a joy. Learn more about your family’s health at Marque Medical.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.