Online sites, like HBNewsNetwork, show you that staying active helps you look and feel your best. Of course, parents know that fitting exercise into the schedule is a challenge when you have children. Instead of trying to squeeze fitness around your youngsters, include them in your healthy lifestyle with activities that appeal to both kids and kids-at-heart.
Set a Giving Goal
To both teach your children to be generous and challenge them to go long distances on family walks, set a giving goal. Help them pick a charitable organization that could benefit from funds. Then, explain to your kids that your family walks will help them earn money to give the group. For every mile that your children walk, add a set amount of money to their giving fund. Once they’ve accumulated enough funds, present their earnings to the organization.
Plan a Family Garden
Growing flowers and vegetables is relaxing, but it also provides strenuous exercise. Among other garden tasks, digging, watering and picking plants work your muscles and get your heart rate up. Many kids love the opportunity to play in the dirt and grow their own food, so set aside a portion of your yard as a garden where you can work the land together. You’ll be rewarded not only with healthier bodies but also with beautiful flowers or delicious, good-for-you veggies. Cherry tomatoes, string beans, snap peas and zinnias are good plants to grow with children.
Get Moving with Games
Video games are almost always a hit with kids, so play ones that get you moving together. Using a gaming system that can track your movements, then load up a game that gets your heart rate up. Dance games will really get you moving, and everyone will be having so much fun that they’ll forget how hard their bodies are working. Boxing games are another good option.
Hold a Competition
Equip all family members with wearable pedometers. Then, hold weekly or monthly challenges to see who can record the most steps. Offer a small prize to the winner, such as the right to choose what version of Tag you play on your next backyard game night. Of course, if your family is competitive, bragging rights alone might be enough to get everyone moving.
Join a Group Fitness Class
There are no shortage of extracurricular activities available to kids these days, and if your children are like many, they want to be involved in every one of them. Of course, signing your kids up for too many activities will have you running ragged and cut into your family time. Instead of enrolling your children in multiple age-based programs, pick an extracurricular fitness activity that you can all do together. Look for mixed-age martial arts classes, family swim lessons or group dance classes. Joining in fun activities like these as a family will strengthen your bond with your kids and ensure that you fit in at least one intense exercise session every week.
Invest in Fun Equipment
Make your backyard a place where fitness naturally happens. When your outdoor space is stocked with kid-friendly active gear, exercise is bound to take place, at least for your kids. Get out there and play with them, and you’ll get more fit too. Low-cost gear ideas include balls, hula hoops and jump ropes. With a little more money, you can get a basketball hoop or bicycles for everyone in the family. If you’re ready to make a big investment, consider a trampoline, a swimming pool or even a rock-climbing wall!