Fun Ways to Exercise with Your Kids

Friday, September 11, 2015

Fun Ways to Exercise with Your Kids
A fun and rewarding activity with your family is to sign up for a 5K Walk or Run
We all know our kids are not getting enough regular exercise. The truth is we aren’t either. The challenge becomes how do we all get moving?

Not long ago the Center for Disease Control made a profound statement. They proclaimed that we are now living in a generation where parents are going to out live their children because of obesity. When you think about it, this is a very frightening and scary statement. The good news is that as parents we are not powerless.

As parents we are powerful role models. Making a commitment to build more exercise into our lives can not only help us live healthier lives but it may just save our children’s lives. The key is that our children need to see us in action. In order to become healthier and live a healthy lifestyle we all have to change our habits.

A great way to get moving is to build exercise and fun activities into your family’s routine on a regular basis. This is possible even during the Pandemic. What you choose should be something you enjoy doing, is easily planned and remember, it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or any money.

Here are some ideas of what has worked in our family:

Ask for the gift of exercise. Think of it as a “positive” bribe. On more than one Mother’s Day I have asked members of my family to commit to giving me the gift of working out with me for a period of time. It is a great way for each of us to be committed to exercising. For the kids it is a way for them to give you something you want without a whole lot of effort or money. With my daughter I even did exercises together with her. I really enjoyed it and she did too.

Plan a special activity over a vacation or holiday. A way to build in activities you have never tried before or that require a little more planning, think about making them a part of a holiday, this includes staycations. Where we live it is possible to go horseback riding. It is actually more work than you realize. Or you could sign up for Line Dancing or a Karate class--many of these are offered online these days.

Sign up for Run or Walk and include the family. Over the years our family has done a number of runs/walks together. The list has become long. It is a great way to raise awareness and funds for an important cause, spend time with your family and also practice fitness. Most communities have a ton of opportunities to sign up from The American Heart Association or March of Dimes to local hospitals or health oriented organizations as well as special needs associations. Most all of them have become virtual so you can do it where you live and in a safe environment. Pick one that means something to you and sign up to do it. Get it on the calendar early and then do it annually. It is a wonderful community to become a part of.

Fit in some weekend fun. We have come to look forward to the weekends. There are many activities, like cycling, kayaking or hiking that can take more time than you have available during the week. We love to get on our bikes, take our masks with us, and pick new places to explore on Saturdays. Or it could be taking your dogs to a new park and walking around it with them. Take a Frisbee too and you can add even more fun.

Think about an activity before or after dinner. Often we tend to lose a lot of time in front of the TV before and after dinner. This is a time we can often fit in a short walk around the neighborhood. My dad used to do this all the time we were growing up. It was a way for him to relax after work. We were always invited. Somehow I got out of the habit until recently. Now I love my evening walks with the dogs and any other family member who can join me.

We have found the more we do work in family exercise the easier it becomes to sustain it. The challenge is to make it the priority and work the other parts of our schedule around it. Regrettably, we tend to put exercise at the bottom of our list of priorities until we realize the health of our family and the quality of our lives depends on it. In reality, there is no better time than the present to get started moving. That is why we want to make it fun and enjoyable. Taking a walk or doing a “run” or trying out a new activity are all great ways to spend time with the ones we love. Not only are we moving, we are also bonding and sharing the important value of health. There is no way to beat that. Let’s commit to live vibrant! 

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