Teaching your kids the benefits of living a healthy and active lifestyle is extremely important for both their current and future health. But, as any parent knows, it can sometimes be quite a challenge. Forcing kids to participate in activities they don’t enjoy can cause them to rebel and despise the exact principals you are trying to teach them. Instead, focus on planning fun physical activities that the kids will love doing for even many hours per day. There are hundreds of fun options that will get kids interested in physical activity and exercise; you just have to get motivated to join them in the process.
1. Tag Games: Classic games that kids get into often have some sort of tag component. From basic freeze tag, sardines, to the basic hide and go seek. Just freeze tag will get your kids running more in one game than they normally would all week long. The more people you get involved the better, so invite the entire neighborhood.
2. Bike Riding: An obvious choice that is often overlooked is just to grab the bikes and head out on a nice ride as an entire family. Set some goals such as a distance, time, or destination to make it new and exciting every time.
3. Play Frisbee: People forget how much fun playing Frisbee is and the physical benefits from tossing around a disc. You can get a game of ultimate Frisbee going, head to a disc golf course, or just throw it around amongst the family. Either way, you are guaranteed to get some exercise.
4. Wide Games: There are many versions of wide games that usually involve a treasure hunt, seizure of a treasure, or land conquering games. Kids can create their own unique version or stick with classics like cops and robbers. Games like these that they can play in the community will get everyone involved and always be a lot of fun while simultaneously providing some exercise.
5. Racing: The most basic human instinct is still a ton of fun for kids. You can run, bike ride, roller blade, skateboard, or whatever it is that is most fun for the people involved. The goal is simple, get from the starting line to the finish line before everyone else. Make some prizes for the winners and get kids racing against each other for fun. They won’t even realize you are tricking them into running on a daily basis.
Growing up loving and playing sports, and even playing volleyball in college, I knew I HAD to marry a man who also loved sports – so I married a basketball player (played overseas). Besides health and chiropractic, sports is an important THEME in our family. Our girls started playing sports at an early age because they loved to be moving, running and scoring (competition is also very important in our family). Two of our daughters played sports in college. One played lacrosse at UCLA and another played volleyball at Montana State University. We’ve always played a lot of games as a family (Marco Polo pool games were not for the meek); which made exercising a normal part of our lives. All five of us exercise regularly and none of us have the same exercise routine.
It’s so important for kids to be active and moving their bodies, which increases their health on many levels. It increases their self-esteem, body awareness, balance, confidence and mood. AND if they are not athletic or into sports, they can still be physically active by doing all sorts of fun activities, like riding a bike, swimming, surfing, playing tag, etc. If you “play” along with them and turn family time into exercise, you will ALL benefit. Give it a try. Tag, you’re it!!!