Making Fitness Fun for Children
It should come as no surprise that children who exercise on a regular basis not only lead healthier lives overall, but are also more likely to make fitness a priority in their life as they get older. With only one in three children exercising every day and one in three adults getting 30 minutes of exercise or more each week, it's time to change the trend when it comes to fitness and our children. If you are having trouble getting your kids excited about fitness, try one of these fun activities to get them moving.
Kick off your weekend with some outdoor family time. Sneak in some family fitness with a geocaching adventure. Grab the kids, your smartphones and hit the trails to find hidden gems all over your city. For older kids, let them take the lead with a phone like the Samsung Galaxy S7, so they can track their location without having to worry about water or environmental damages from your adventure.
Find everyday items around your home to create indoor and outdoor obstacle courses or take a trip to the store and challenge your kids to find a number of items to create their ideal course. Then take turns setting up and running through each obstacle course. Including kids in the creation of the course will keep them engaged and excited and get their blood moving in the process. Then, of course, the actual obstacle course will provide an afternoon of fun and fitness too.
Wet and Wild
Once the weather starts heating up, the allure of the pool is strong for kids. Take advantage of their desire to be outdoors with some fun and engaging pool games. The tried and true Marco Polo and Sharks and Minnows provide a great deal of fun, but keep pool time fresh by introducing new games and challenging kids to create their own fun too. Take an old toy or game and challenge them to find a new use for it or a new way to play.
Ready, Set, Go!
Whether a foot race around the neighborhood or an official fun run race, many kids love the adrenaline of competition. Challenge kids to set distance and timing goals and celebrate each achievement, big and small. If your kids are not a fan of endurance and speed events, get creative with your race parameters. If your child likes getting dirty, plan a make shift mud run or find a kid-friendly course. If dancing or gymnastics is more to their liking, have a competition to see who can get to the finish line most gracefully or creatively. The more you involve your children and their interests, the more enthusiastic they will be to participate.
Lead By Example
There are several fitness programs, like Stroller Strides or Mommy and Me Yoga, that allow you to exercise with your children and show them that fitness can be fun. The more they see fitness as a source of entertainment, rather than torture, the more they will be likely to incorporate it into their daily lives as they grow up and become more independent.
Doing something good for the community can be a great source of fitness, depending on the activity. Have kids walk around the neighborhood and collect canned food for the local food bank or books for the local children's library. They can feel good about the end result as well as the effort put forth to incorporate fitness in their good deed.