5 Ways to Get Moving With Your Kids
1. Walk On. No matter what your fitness level, chances are you can take a stroll around the block. Walking is a great activity for your whole family because no matter what age your children are, you can bring them along for the trip. If your children are at the age where walking seems a little "slow" for them, have them run ahead a bit and run back to you, or see if they can "run circles around you." It will probably help motivate your pace! Added bonus for walking: Mom might want to go along, too. Women love the opportunity to hold hands, talk, and reconnect. An evening stroll just might be the easiest way you can help your fitness level, your children’s health, and your relationships!
2. Make Play While the Sun Shines. Taking your children outside for playtime ensures one thing – you’ll have to do some moving! Play a game of catch or shoot baskets. Help your child practice his or her soccer moves while you play goalie. Chase your toddler across the lawn. Or, get out a few jump ropes and have a contest as to who can jump longer. There are countless ways you can play outside with your kids. The fresh air, sunshine, and exercise will do your bodies good!
3. Nostalgia for You – Fun for Them. Do you remember the games you played as a kid? Hide and seek, tag, hot potato, kickball? Teach these to your children! Children love to learn new games. Dad, you can make these "old classics" more fun than the latest video game. Red rover, anyone?
4. Chart Your Progress. If you're a dad who’s a bit more structured with your exercise habits, consider starting a family exercise schedule. Post the schedule on the fridge and give gold stars for every day that everyone in the family exercises (or plays outside) for at least 20 minutes. Rewards can be fitness-related, too – a family day at the lake where everyone gets to help paddle a canoe or ride their bikes.
5. Lightweights Welcome. Are you a weight lifter? Maybe you have a home gym or just some free weights you like to use to keep that upper body toned. You can teach your kids the importance of muscle toning by letting them "lift" with you. If you have teenagers, they can use some of your lighter free weights and lift right along with you. But, if you have younger kids, have them use household objects to make their own "weights." For example, some soup cans make great free weights for biceps curls or overhead presses. A two liter soda bottle – filled with sand or water – can also be a great free-weight. Remember, your kids shouldn’t "feel the burn" and challenge their muscles in the same way you do, so keep the weights light and the workout fun. Get creative and teach your kids how to tone.