Children enjoy play and find every chance possible to get physical. When too many hours are spent in front of computer and television, health suffers. With diabetes fast becoming an epidemic, it is sound advice to get moving.
Fun Exercise Ideas for Kids
The first step toward fun, physical action is to take the idea of work out of the equation. Banning the additional word “exercise” might also be beneficial. Focusing on a play is what will get and hold a child’s attention. Below of suggestions for getting started.
Allocate time – Just like anything else, physical fitness can be scheduled in. An early morning walk with the kids especially when summer might allow for a relaxed schedule is terrific. Grab a stopwatch and time younger kids as they run from one point to the next. Note their improvement with each passing day.
Replace the unhealthy – Shave just a half hour off television and computer and replace it with some form of exercise. Label it “fun time” and watch the kids join in enthusiastically. With younger children, a dance hour with hip-hop music is well received.
Weekly silliness – Once a week have a water balloon fight complete with chase or a hula contest. Encourage kids to come up with ideas and even incorporate games where a timer is used. A simple 10-point list can be a starting point, use the one provided and add on over time.
- Frisbee/Frisbee Golf
- Hide and Seek
- Relay Races, sack races, timed racing
- Touch Football, flag football or soccer
- Skateboarding, rollerblading, scooter
Safety Precautions and Kids’ Physical Activities
Many parents worry about injury with active kids, yet physical fitness is, in fact, preventive medicine. Heart health begins with kids exercising the muscle through aerobic activity and play is the remedy to the onslaught of many potential future maladies. Developing a love of hiking, camping or swimming at an early age encourages a fit, active adult. Obvious precautions should be taken when kids are involved in activities and noting the tips below can help.
- Never swim alone
- Hike with a buddy
- Wear appropriate protective gear, especially helmets
- Teach children how to use 911
- Get CPR certified (this is a wonderful family undertaking for older kids)
- Follow all safety rules
- Walk/run against traffic but bike with the flow of traffic
- After dark, don reflective attire
Parents Set the Example
Active kids find life easy when a parent is a leader. With many adults in dire need of more exercise, setting a good example for children should be paramount. Skip filling time with empty computer and television and get involved with the kids. Grab a basketball and shoot a few hoops if running is too strenuous or take a short walk. Parents and children can partner in a quest for a healthier lifestyle, and the outcome may well be fewer medical bills and better quality of life.