Did you know that the Centers of Disease Control recommend that children and adolescents should get a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise on a daily basis? With technology it seems that more and more kids, aren’t getting enough exercise on a daily basis. As a mom, I understand that an hour may seem like a lot of time especially if you are trying to figure out how to add it into your already busy schedule. You can factor in any exercise that your child might get at school especially if they have physical education, recess at school, or go to daycare after school (most daycare’s send the kids outside to play in the afternoons). However, if your children aren’t getting enough exercise during the day it is important that you try to commit to making sure that your child is getting enough physical activity each day. Here are a few ways to get your child active.
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Try these 8 fun exercise activities for kids to get your kids off the couch and moving. Plus, these exercise activities can be enjoyed by the entire family.
Sign You Child up for a Team Sport
Team sports are a great way to get your child motivated to exercise and spend quality time outdoors (with the exception of a few indoor sports). Most team sports practice at least one time a week, sometimes more, plus a game. When your child doesn’t have practice, you can encourage them to go outside and practice by themselves or find another activity that they enjoy.
Get Out and Walk the Dog
If you have a dog, you can teach your child how to take the dog for a walk. All of you will enjoy spending time outside while getting some exercise. I don’t recommend young children try walking the dog alone though. They might not know how to react to certain situations, the dog might pull them over (depending on the size of dog that you have), or something might happen. Remember to teach your child about stranger danger too!
Make it a Game
I know that children might not like the idea of exercising. They may even think it is boring. Instead, try turning ordinary exercise into a game. Your child will be more than likely your child to join in and they won’t grumble the next time you try to encourage them to exercise. Here are a few games that you can play:
- freeze tag
- capture the flag
- relay races
- don’t let the balloon touch the floor
- and many other ideas
Mix It Up
Repetition can get rather boring. Plus, your body gets used to doing the same workout over and over. The next time you try to get your child to exercise with you, try something new. You can also turn playtime into exercise. There are plenty of different exercises, you can even do several in one night too. For example, you can do hip hop dancing and play the Wii fit. You get the idea.
Get Their Friends Involved
When I was a teenager, often times I would invite several of the neighborhood kids over and we would play a game of soccer. Inviting your child’s friends over is a great way to motivate your own child to exercise or do something that they normally wouldn’t want to do. Plus, most activities are more fun if there are more people playing. You can even invite the whole family over too, depending on the activity that you are going to do.
Spend Time Outside
Photo Credit: Pixabay
Try to spend as much time outside as possible. The fresh air and sunshine is a great way to improve your mood and help combat depression. Plus, sunshine is a great way to get Vitamin D. Swap as many indoor activities and exercises for things that you can do outside. Don’t forget to lather on sunscreen and bug spray!
During the winter time, find some fun outdoor activities that the whole family enjoys like skiing, ice skating, snow boarding, snow shoeing, and more.
Model Good Exercise Habits
If you expect for your children to want to exercise, it is super important to model those behaviors even when you dread working out. Plus, when children watch you workout often times they want to join in too. I remember growing up, my mom used to jump on the mini trampoline for exercise. Once she was finished, I often would get on the trampoline and jump too.
Find Indoor Exercise or Alternatives
During the winter time, it is often difficult to get outside and work out especially if your area sees a ton of snow/ice. Most gyms, have a policy that doesn’t allow children to utilize the machines or equipment; however, if you have a gym with an indoor pool find out if your entire family can use it to swim. You can teach your children how to swim laps. Just remember if you do use the gym pool, that you make sure that you follow the rules since it isn’t your typical swimming pool. You can also take your children to a hotel to swim too.
I hope this list of fun exercise activities for kids gets them off the couch. Exercise has a wide variety of health benefits. Plus, it will even help them do better in school too.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia
Do your kids’ currently exercise? If not, do you plan on trying a few of these tips?