Get Kids To Exercise With A Wide Variety of Activities

Swimming is a great exercise for kids

Kids Love to Swim

Having a child who is overweight or headed in that direction can be terrifying for a parent. We tend to think that if we limit what our kids eat as far a sugars, salts and fast food goes that we are doing our very best to help them, unfortunately this is not enough. Kids today have access to so much media and forms of entertainment that do not require them to do anything physical at all. Keep cutting out the junk food but also be sure to focus on getting your children to get up and go! Here are some tips to help you get your whole family settled into well rounded healthy lifestyle.

Lead By Example

No, that doesn’t mean you need to drag your child to the gym. Instead, plan fun days at the park. Exercise doesn’t have to be sit-ups and running laps. Instead, take the kite out and fly it in a large open area. Organize a game of kickball, kids versus the adults. Invite their friends along to make it even more fun. Challenge them to races from the jungle gym to the big tree and celebrate the effort, not just the winners. It’s also fun to have everyone take their bikes out for a ride together. Kids love to do just about everything, if their parents are doing it with them.

Nature Hikes

While not every child is up for a rousing game of soccer or an intense hour of ballet, anyone can go on a nature hike, collecting leaves, taking pictures and enjoying the scenes of nature. If your child prefers artistic pursuits, have them bring along their sketch pad and a pencil to capture a scene. These are great to show progress through the years and to frame and hang in their rooms. Check out more great ideas for nature projects.

Encourage Movement

Getting exercise is not all about sports and dance. It’s about moving around and staying busy. Take the kids bowling or skating one afternoon and watch them re-discover how fun movement can be. (Just keep them away from the arcade area.) For rewards or presents, offer fun activity-related play dates like an afternoon at the batting cages or a trip to the climbing wall. By setting activity up as fun, you’re encouraging a lifetime exercise and good mental health.

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Play a Video Game

But only the active ones, that require you to get up off of the couch! Making these games a family event not only keeps your kids from zoning out all night in hopes of beating the next level of Mario, but it creates a little family competition in an active way.

Evening Walks

An evening walk with your child is a great way to bond after a busy day. It doesn’t have to be filled with chatter, but it’s a chance to be together. It’s also a cooler part of the day, making it more enjoyable for everyone. A calming exercise such as yoga before bedtime is also a great way to make sure you both enjoy a good night’s sleep. These yoga exercises for kids are a good place to start.

About the Author

Jennifer Nelson is a former fitness coach, but after she had her twin daughters, her days changed drastically and she had trouble retaining her healthy lifestyle. She got her wake up call at 220 pounds, when realized that if she didn't make a change, she wouldn't be able to teach her daughters how to live healthy. Jennifer shares insights on how to make time for exercise and healthy living. Her no-nonsense approach strips conventional thinking with an easy to follow regimen of healthy eating and moderate exercise. “You can’t have a healthy body by feeding it garbage and sitting on the couch,” says Nelson, “but you don’t need to be a gym rat either. I share how to achieve the balance you want.” Nelson currently resides in Sacramento, California with her husband and three children.