Our life is so busy these days. Between work and school and life in general, it seems that exercising gets pushed way down on the priority list. By the time we hit the house each night it is so easy to let the kids turn on the TV, or pick up their tablets, and “veg out” for the evening.
But one of my goals this year was to exercise more and make myself work toward a heathier lifestyle. After evaluating the sedentary habits of my kids, I decided that incorporating them into my exercise goals would be a great idea. By starting them in the habit of exercising young, my hopes are that they will grow up to be active adults who continue to exercise.
But how do you keep exercise fun for the kids? I’ve got five tips that we are incorporating to get the kids and myself moving. And better yet, some of them don’t feel like exercise at all!
1.Traditional exercises are always the first thing to come to mind. Walking, running, weight training, etc. My daughter and I have set a goal of participating in a 5K race in the spring so we are currently walking and running to get ready to compete. As kids get a little older you can introduce weight training or simple strengthening exercises you can all do together either outside or in the house. Older kids may also enjoy joining you at the gym.
2.My daughter is just now getting old enough to participate in organized sports, and she is loving it. Not only does she get exercise during the games, but as a family we all exercise when we head to the backyard to practice with her. She played volleyball this year and we all had fun chasing the ball around the backyard while she practiced her serves and bounces. As kids get involved in sports, simply practicing with them can burn a ton of calories for both of you!
3.If you live in an area that has a safe place for bike riding, you can get a ton of exercise without really feeling like you’ve done much. Kids loves riding bikes and I have found that my kids will ride them forever if I would let them. The little one burns off a ton of energy peddling that little tricycle, and my daughter is so proud of herself for being able to ride. Our town doesn’t have a great place to ride, but we always pack the bikes when we go camping. Camp grounds are always ideal for a good bike ride.
4.One of the fun ways I exercise with my kids is to throw a little dance party. We find a good station on Pandora and just dance it out in the living room. None of us are very good dancers, but all that jumping and wiggling can be great exercise. I often find I’m most winded after dancing it out than any other exercise I do. And the kids don’t even realize they are exercising! Step it up a notch by putting pedometers on everyone and making your dance party a little competition. The one with the most “points” at the end wins!!
5.I hate housework. But I’ve discovered that my kids love it (lucky me!). Although it’s not intense exercise, getting up from the TV and cleaning house can actually provide for a great workout. Give the kids a dust cloth and let them go for it. Or let them sweep or vacuum parts of the house. Everyone gets some exercise, and you get a clean house – win, win.
So what are you doing to incorporate exercise into your kids’ lives?