Believe it or not kids LOVE to exercise. To them it’s not exercising, it’s spending quality time with their parents. They won’t even know they’re exercising!! They’ll just think it’s mommy/child bonding time a few times a week. This will not only keep your kids from sitting around watching tv or playing video games, this will help them too!! As a bonus, exercise with family does double duty as quality time — no small consideration given our jam-packed schedules. Let these creative ideas help you turn every day into an opportunity to get fit — and have fun — together.
Babies and toddlers spend an awful lot of time strapped into car seats or plopped in front of the TV. Not only does this prevent them from practicing their emerging motor skills and strengthening their heart, lungs, and muscles, but it can also set them up for a sedentary lifestyle, and even obesity, as adults. A good habit of physical activity, on the other hand, will last a lifetime, And it’s never too early to start!
Here are a few simple ideas to keep your kids moving and away from the video games while giving mommy the exercise we so deeply need to keep us on track with our new journey to health. Besides, we want to be around longer. We want to see our kids grow up and get married and have grandchildren. Kids look at us as role models so let’s show them something that’s good for them! Good habits carry on throughout life just as bad habits do. Grabs your kids and get moving. They’ll thank you later!
Infants: Join a StrollerFit or Baby Boot Camp class and get fit while baby looks on. Set the tone for a lifetime of health and fitness! Go for pre- or post-dinner walks. Whether you head into town or just cruise the neighborhood, building a walk into your daily schedule ensures that it won’t get put off.
Toddlers: Crank up the music and boogie down. Hold disco nights with your kids and several neighbors. Move the furniture aside, turn on some dance tunes, and lets the kids take turns using a flashlight as a strobe light.
-Make a game out of household chores.Pretend that dust creatures are invading earth and it’s up to Captain [insert child’s name] to save the day by capturing them with his broom. Make believe he’s one of the Rescue Heroes, and have him save his teddy bears from the slimy pit of the floor by putting them safely in his toy chest.
– Sneak workouts into other activities. Have your toddler walk instead of riding in the cart at the supermarket, and take the stairs or walk up the escalator whenever possible.
-Turn TV commercials into fitness breaks. Invent silly names for simple exercises like squats, push-ups, and sit-ups, and then do them together till the show comes back on. Call them princess sit-ups or Bob the Builder muscle builders. You can also play “coach,” in which you take turns “ordering” each other to “drop and give me five,” or “follow the leader,” in which one person leads the others in fun, simple moves like clapping, wiggling, and marching.
Tweens: Drag your kids away from Minecraft and go for a family hike every weekend. Let them choose the location and help pack the picnic basket to make it more appealing. Have a weekly sports night. Every Wednesday, for example, get everyone up and moving. One game to play is the fit-deck shuffle. Create a series of playing cards featuring family-friendly exercises, such as bear-crawling or ape-walking. Each family member picks a card and performs the exercise pictured until all the cards have been dealt. You can also buy a ready-made set of exercise cards from FitDeck (fitdeck.com).
Walk or run for charity. Model the value of exercise — and of giving back to society — by teaming up with your children for a fund-raising race.
-Put kids to work in the yard. If autumn brings down leaves in your area, make a game out of catching them on a windy day — see who can catch the most yellow, orange, or red ones. Then rake them into piles — give the kids child-sized rakes so they can help — and have fun jumping in them, or take turns completely covering one another in leaves. After a snowfall, let kids help clear the porch or walkway, then see who can make the most snow angels. Older kids can help build a snowman — and even toss a few snowballs.
-Team up for gardening.Kids are great at digging up dirt, so let them turn over the soil and help you plant new bulbs. Research shows that gardening is as good as weight training when it comes to preventing osteoporosis, and if you’re planting vegetables, it can make them more appetizing to kids.
-Walk the dog. New research from North American Association on the Study of Obesity shows that dog-owners had more fun losing weight and were able to keep it off longer than non-pup-owners. Don’t have a pooch? Go look for some.
Collegiate: Get your kid a gym pass to lift weights with you when they’re home on vacation to help build some metabolic muscle and stave off the freshman 15 (and subsequent sophomore 7).
Adults: Train together for a triathlon and then enlist a buddy to take on a tri as a trio. Swim, bike and run your way to spending some quality time together.
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Toni Sweeney is a Triple Certified Ketogenic Diet and Primal Health Coach and weight loss expert who personally lost 80 pounds while making a total lifestyle change. The founder of Bee-Xtreme Supplements and TS Transformations her formulas and plans has helped thousands of women lose weight and keep it off forever.