Family Fitness: Keeping Active with Kids

Making sure that your family eats healthy and stays active throughout the year can be a daunting task. Often times, major priorities like these can take a back seat as your schedule fills up and kids take on extra classes or other after school activities. However, regular activity and exercise can help decrease your kids’ risk of childhood obesity and type II diabetes. With that in mind, try and make fitness fun for your kids and encourage your family to stay fit and at their most healthy with our top tips on keeping active with kids –

  • Plan family walks or bike rides: Creating a regular routine that involves the whole family can help kids get into the habit of understanding the importance of incorporating exercise into their schedules each day. Try to plan activities that everyone can take part in once each member of your family is home from work or school. Simple neighborhood walks can even provide your family with some extra time to catch up with each other at the end of the day.
  • Weekend hikes or camping: Hiking can be exciting for kids as it often introduces them to new areas and can make them more comfortable being away from the comforts of home as they explore the great outdoors. You can even use nature hikes as a means of teaching your little ones about different types of plants or wild life that might be prevalent in your area. Usually, the different terrain that comes with such walks, different incline levels, and landscape, can work different muscles at different intensities even when you are just walking.
  • Family Sporting Events: To help kids equate fitness with fun and excitement, consider planning an obstacle course for your kids and their friends to complete in a fun and friendly sports day. You could even plan a competitive tournament around popular sports like basketball, soccer, or flag football. Creating small sporting events like this can make fitness and exercise a more memorable experience for all members of your family.
  • Organized Sports: Look to your local community centers or schools to find organized team sports for your kids to take part in throughout the year. Even if they are not the most athletically inclined, your kids can benefit from the team building and strength training that accompanies organized sports. Options can include competitive swimming, soccer, football, hockey, basketball, and more.
  • Fitness Focused Games: If you have trouble getting your family’s gamers outdoors, try finding video games that might help them break a sweat and keep active even while indoors. Popular dancing or exercise games are readily available for systems like the Xbox Kinect and the Nintendo Wii. There are games out there for high intensity workouts to fun dancing games, such as Zumba.
  • Make sports equipment available: When buying your kids new toys or gifts, consider purchasing items that will encourage them to head outdoors. Having roller blades and bikes or basketball hoops and various types of balls around can make it easier for your kids to stay active when boredom sets in at home.
  • Encourage your kids to “unplug” for a few minutes each day and fit in some time for a little physical activity. After all, building a positive relationship with fitness and exercise at an early age can encourage them to keep up these healthy habits well into their adulthood.

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