Video games, YouTube, and even reading books can keep kids inside, even on beautiful days. Parents are constantly struggling with how to make the right choices regarding pushing their kids outside for exercise and allowing them to play inside. It’s hard! But there are some creative ways to convince your children to be active that don’t always require formal exercise. Check out these easy ideas to incorporate family fitness into your week and get the whole household involved!
Play with them
A year ago, I’d send my kids outside to play so I could do something productive around the house, like laundry or cook dinner. But now with a toddler who requires more supervision outside, I find myself spending time outside with my kids. Which makes it easier to get them all outside together. We spend some time in the evening playing, running around, and enjoying family time. My husband will play catch with one of the older kids or teach them to ride bikes while I catch the toddler on the slide. No matter what we’re doing, we’re being active together.
I’ve always had this idea of going to PT with my husband. Of course, I don’t really want to wake up for a 5:30 workout, and now that we have young kids, that isn’t going to fly. But I haven’t given up on the idea of working out together. I enjoy taking family walks in the evening, I have fond memories of completing the Spartan Race a few years ago, and then taking my kids to do the Jr. Spartan race. And just last year, my two older kids woke up early and went to PT with their dad to run with him on St. Patrick’s Day. Family fun can easily extend to exercise.
Sometimes parenting (and exercise) are all about compromise. Sure, we want our children to have fun and enjoy themselves, but we can’t expect them to completely give up the video games or inside toys. There are days where I absolutely trade 15 minutes of video game time for 15 minutes of playing outside. And there are days when that 15 minutes outside turns into two hours because the neighborhood kids came over. Which makes it all worth it.
While I try my hardest not to take my kids to the gym with me (because mom wants a little time away) I do make an effort to let them know what I’m doing. I will share with them that I’m tired, but I’m still going. Or that the workout was really hard, but I finished it. They’ve seen my progress and dedication, and that will teach them so much more about life than playing in the kid’s area while I work out.
Make something up
Parents everywhere can thank American Ninja Warrior for turning our houses into jungle gyms. Even though I get frustrated to find my child hanging from the fireplace mantle, I love seeing the creativity and the enjoyment that exercise brings them. They even create obstacle courses on the playground and include new friends in their adventures. Exercise doesn’t have to be structured because it’s a natural part of how kids play. So, we should embrace that!
Does your family enjoy exercise? Have you tried it together? By incorporating one of these techniques into your week, you can teach your kids family fitness is a fun, creative way to spend time together and get healthy. What’s your go-to activity as a household?Read comments