These days, the media would have you believe that kids don’t go outside so much anymore, and that may well be true. Glued to screens and bound by ever more complicated homework assignments, two out of every three kids aren’t getting the amount of exercise they need to stay both fit and healthy.
Here are some tips that’ll help you get your kids off the couch and out and about.
As parents, part of the problem with lack of physical exercise might be you—take your kids on outings and let them get to know the kinds of activities that best suit their personalities. Hikes or short camping trips are a great way to bond with your kids and get in touch with nature.
Trips to the beach or a local swimming pool provide ample opportunities for kids to play, without feeling like they are being forced to exercise.
Or try a sport like golfing, canoeing or kayaking and build a lifelong love for a new activity you can share with your children. Even taking a jog around the track or kicking a soccer ball is a good way to build some activity into your day.
Plan for rain, shine or changing temps by downloading a weather app like Weather Live Free. Click here to learn more, and never be ill-prepared for what the skies have in store again.
Track Your Steps
There’s an addictive power at play when using pedometers or step-tracking apps on your phone. While devices often keep kids indoors, they also enable exercise, making getting to the doctor-recommended 10,000 steps feel like a game or competition.
Walk or Bike to School
Should the weather allow – and you live reasonably close to school—biking or walking as a form of transportation encourages kids to move, is an Earth-friendly way to get around and allows you to bond with your child. A low-impact exercise, cycling has a number of benefits attached.
Keep Equipment on Hand
Kids love playing around on roller skates, scooters, skateboards and more. Invest in a few of these items and you’re sure to see your little one spending more time outside noodling around on the concrete.
Additionally, having a few balls on hand –soccer, football, basketball or a basic rubber kickball—is great for getting kids out of the house next time there’s a friend over.
Sign Up for a Sport
It doesn’t matter if it’s t-ball or Tai Kwan do, any regularly scheduled sport will do—the important thing is that it’s age appropriate and that your child shows interest in the activity. If your child isn’t too keen on traditional sports, encourage them to try yoga or dance instead.
In the end, it’s important to remember, that exercise, along with healthy eating are super important for the health of your child. Good habits lay the groundwork for an active adulthood and prevent major health issues from emerging later on in life.