It’s not always easy to get the kids up off the sofa and doing something active. After all, how can physical activity compete with the ever ending excitement of a Playstation 4 and other consoles that offer relentless entertainment? Even adults can struggle with that issue, so it’s little wonder that children do too!
Fortunately, you do have a few secret weapons up your sleeve, in the form of physical activity that isn’t so obviously designed to keep children healthy – they’re fun! If you think your children might need push to get active, try the following activities we’ve outlined below. We’re sure your kids will be fit and healthy in no time!
“Hey kids, do you want to go on an adventure/catch some Pokemon?!” sounds much better than “Hey kids, let’s go for a hike!”. These fun activities can get the whole family out into the great outdoors and exploring for hours on end. With Geocaching, you’ll be on the hunt for ‘geocaches’, which can be hidden just about anywhere. And with Pokemon Go, you’ll be collecting your favorite Pokemon on the move!
Kids and adults alike both love to play Frisbee, so much so that most everyone forgets that it’s an activity that also keeps you healthy! Grab the kids and their friends and head to the nearest park for an afternoon of Frisbee. With a bit of luck, they won’t be pro Frisbee throwers and they’ll end running to retrieve the disc! If they are good, set up an ultimate Frisbee match, as this will get them moving around.
Trampolines are the hidden heroes of exercise. They are ridiculous fun, which everyone knows, but they’re also incredible at keeping us healthy. Spending an hour on a trampoline is more effective than the same hour spent running! And that’s just for starts – it’ll also help strengthen bones, improve cardiovascular system, and more. They’re also safe: items such as Skywalker trampolines have a safety net, helping to avoid accidents. In short, your kids will love having such a fun item in their garden and the only issue will be getting them inside at the end of the day!
Dancing to Stretch
What child doesn’t love to bop around the house to their favorite music? You can use this natural enthusiasm to your benefit, by making it a part of a stretching routine. Stretching isn’t the most exciting activity in the world (even adults struggle!) but it is really important to do before physical activity and it has many benefits even as a stand alone activity. To get your kids in the mood, put on the best music you can find and get them moving around. This will make stretching as fun as it’s ever going to be!
After about the age of 5, running around aimlessly begins to get a bit tiresome. And running around with the sole intention of getting fit is outright boring. Enter: Tag Games! This starts of simple enough, as a fun game to play with friends and family. But what your kids won’t know is that they’ll actually be doing plenty of running all in the name of the game!
The Great Outdoors
Compared with older generations, children of today don’t get too many opportunities to have unrestricted free time in the great outdoors. This doesn’t have to the case, however. Pack up the car with the kids and supplies for the day and head to the largest green space you can think of. Once you’re there, it’ll be entirely up to them how they spend their time; without the distractions of the internet and video games, they’ll have to think of something constructive to do! Some fun options include climbing trees (might want to watch them for that one!), playing with a football or ball, using a skipping rope, or just going for a long hike to explore. You can combine this with a healthy and nutritious packed lunch (carrots and hummus is a winner) for a day that’ll really show them what it means to be fit and healthy.
Make It About Them
Of course, you don’t have to follow a prescribed remedy for fitness. In fact, it’s better if the ideas come from the children themselves. What do they want to do? It could be anything, from learning a martial art to exploring an outdoor area that interests them. Also be sure to offer the chance to do whatever sport they want to do; in many places, sporting options are generally limited, reduced to just a handful of the big ones – but there are many out there! If your child wants to try a sport that isn’t so common, you’ll also get to enjoy discovering how to do it together.
Children don’t often have the opportunity to play in swimming pools, so when they do they go at it with all the enthusiasm they can muster. And as we all know, swimming comes with bags of health benefits, including helping to control weight, improve muscles, and also makes us feel better. In all, it’s one of the best activities you can do – and your kids will actually want to do it: what could be better?
It’s not easy to be the parent of a child who has a negative response to physical activity. Youth across the world are less healthy than ever before, and with more and more choosing inside playing video games than getting active in the real world, it could be a problem that is here to stay. We don’t have to go through the issues that childhood obesity can cause, but they are extensive. That’s why one of your jobs as a parent is to inspire your children to do physical exercise, to make it fun and enjoyable rather than a chore. Take the ideas we’re pointed out above and put your own twist on them; adapt them for your child’s own interests if possible. With dedication, they’ll be running their way to fitness in no time.