Kids aren’t getting enough exercise these days. For infants and young children, inactivity can have a wide range of negative impacts on the body, heart, and motor abilities and set the groundwork for childhood obesity later on in life. For slightly older kids, video games and electronic devices can get in the way of exercise and that can set them up for a lifetime of poor fitness habits.
That’s why it’s so vital to get your children involved in your workout routine. When you can instill proper exercise habits in your kids at a young age, it prepares them to incorporate these healthy habits and routines through their formative years. That can be highly beneficial to their growth and give them strong bodies and minds as they reach adulthood.
The thing to remember is that you can never get them started on exercise too early, but how you do it can have a dramatic effect on whether or not they wish to continue down the path of fitness. For starters, it’s important that you make it all about having fun. If you stress to them that physical activity is something enjoyable and amusing, they’ll be more inclined to want to do it.
We don’t always relish going to the gym or heading out for that morning run, most of us would much rather stay in bed or plop down on the couch with a pizza. Those things are fine every once in a while, but if you demonstrate a history of laziness, fatigue, and inaction, what kinds of habits do you think your children are going to emulate?
Your workout routine is important to you and you need to impress its importance on your kids as well. Getting them involved in those habits can do them a world of good, here are some ways to make that happen and promote physical fitness as a family.
Start ’em Young!
Your baby doesn’t know physical fitness from fitting foreign objects in his or her mouth. But the more you include your infant into your workouts, the more likely your child will pick up good habits as they get older. So get one of those handy baby carriers or put your child in a stroller and go for a run. This way you can spend time with your infant while you get some outdoor activity. Exercise with kids can make getting out there easier for yourself on those days you may not feel like it.
Go for a run. Take a walk, maybe a small hike on your local trails. Anything that gets you out of the house with your baby is a good idea. If you have small children who are mobile and independent, take them along and let them explore as you walk or run through the neighborhood. Get them each a kids fitness tracker so they can see the progress they make each time.
Make working out a challenge. This might be an idea to pursue as your kids get little older, but setting goals and objectives for working out can make them more willing to participate. If you’re partial to running 5K’s, 10K’s, and marathons, get your children into the act.
Search out organized activities in which you can participate as a family, a walk or run that you can do together, with prizes at the end like finisher medals and other items that commemorate commitment and accomplishment. You can teach them how to train for their upcoming event and build their enthusiasm. When they finish, they can get a medal or some other prize that means something to them.
You don’t always have to go outside to get moving. You can turn physical activity into a party in the comfort of your own home. Put on some music and start dancing around the house, let your kids pick some of their favorite music and play it nice and loud. This will get them active, jumping and dancing around the house. It’s a great way to show them that activity can be fun, exciting, and even creative as the kids pick out the playlist of songs. Everyone can get in on the action, younger and older kids alike.
Getting the Chores Done
The problem with getting kids to help out around the house is that parents don’t try to portray it as anything other than work. But while instilling work ethic and responsibility into a child are both important, it’s better to use a little sugar to make that medicine go down.
It can also get the kids moving and active by turning chores into games. Creativity is an important component to making your kids take on physical activity more readily than they might otherwise. So, position chores as a game that you can play together and, before you know it, not only will your children get up and get moving, but their rooms will look a lot cleaner and tidier in the bargain.