Author Bio: Cristin Howard runs Smart Parent Advice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Cristin writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase.
One thing that all parents have in common is a desire to help our kids be better and healthier than we are. To this end, it’s a good idea to try and help our kids get into healthy habits in terms of exercise. After all, there are so many different benefits of regular exercise, such as improved physical and mental wellbeing, better concentration, and a longer life expectancy.
If your kids are reluctant to exercise, you can use two main tools to get them going. Firstly, you need to find ways to make exercise fun. You also need to be a good role model for them, which means getting in shape yourself.
A significant first step in encouraging your kids to get more active is to get them out of the house. An excellent way to do this is to plan a fun outdoor activity. Going for a hike might not be exciting, but going on a nature walk to spot animals can be much more appealing. Or perhaps find the perfect spot to fly a kite, by climbing some hill or hiking over a beach.
Even something as simple as taking your kids to play in a playground or kick a ball around on the grass can be effective. Pretty much all outdoor activities that you do with kids will involve some amount of physical exertion. So just getting them out of the house is a great start.
Cycling is a great way to get kids active. When they’re young, it still seems more like a game than exercise. You can get out and get them some fresh air without too much fuss at all.
Teaching your kids to ride a bike is a really special bonding experience. It’s really magical to see them start out with training wheels and gradually make their way up to riding without them.
If you’re trying to get some exercise as well, it can be fun to get the kids on their bikes while you run alongside them. This means that with younger kids, you’ll still get a good amount of exercise, and they get to feel important like they’re your coach. Involving them early in your exercise routine is a great way to model healthy living.
Try Doing Fun Workouts Together
Working out with your kids is a great way to keep them motivated. There are loads of different workout videos you can try together. Letting your kid pick what sort of workout you’re going to do will give them a sense of control over the situation and make them much more likely to participate.
You don’t have to keep doing the same routine over and over. There are loads of fantastic workouts to choose from. Good options include yoga, Zumba, and Bollywood dancing. You can probably find an exercise routine for young kids based on their favorite cartoon or TV show. YouTube is an excellent resource for this. Just search for kids’ workouts, and you’ll have plenty to choose from.
For home workouts, you can make them extra fun for young kids by dressing up before you exercise. Let them pick a workout outfit, and if you’re brave, let them choose one for you as well. This extra touch can make exercising more fun and silly.
Give Weights A Try
If you have older kids, you could try introducing them to strength training. You should take the time to learn what’s safe for them to try. Choose the exercises and weights with care. The main requirement to start strength training is that your child should be able to follow instructions well. It also helps to have reasonable co-ordination.
However, weight and strength training can be appealing to tweens and teens in a way that cardio exercise isn’t. Many kids of this age view it as something more grown-up and exciting. By letting them join you in lifting weights, you’ll make them feel like you’re letting them into a secret club.
Strength training can be a great way to help boost kids’ confidence and self-esteem. It’s an activity where you can easily see and measure progress, which is ideal for keeping kids motivated.
Make Fitness A Habit
The best way to get your kids in shape is to make exercise a fixed part of family life. Get into a routine that includes some exercise. If you can fit something in every day, that’s ideal. If not, aim for at least once a week.
It can take a bit of effort to get into the habit of exercising as a family. But, once you do, it will just become a natural part of your routine. There won’t be any fuss, it’s just what you do. If you can achieve that, then you can feel confident that your child is likely to keep up with exercise even when they grow up.