With most families’ busy schedules, getting kids to exercise can be one of the more challenging aspects of parenting, so physical activity often slides down the list of daily priorities. Nevertheless, exercise and physical activity are an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and kids need activity as much as adults do.
Exercise provides children and adults alike with physical, psychological and social benefits such as a healthy heart, better sleep at night and better attention and focus. Since kids between the ages of 6 to 17 need about an hour plus of physical activity each day, and adults are recommended to get a minimum of 30 minutes daily to prevent disease, making exercise a family activity is a great way for everyone to get their activity and spend time quality together, too. Here are some easy and fun ways to get kids off the couch and get moving as a family.
Take long walks together after dinner.
Go on family bike rides.
Plan a weekend hike and learn about the natural surroundings.
Walk to school with the kids instead of driving.
Take trips to the zoo or theme parks, which include lots of walking.
Give kids their own patch of the backyard garden to plant, weed and dig around in while parents garden alongside.
Have a mini after-school dance party at home with your kids’ favorite tunes.
Race each other on the front lawn or backyard.
Join the kids for a session of outdoor jump rope.
Instead of lying out on the beach or by the pool, plan active family vacations to enjoy together.
Remember that short bursts of activity add up!