We all know that people who exercise are healthier overall, so its no surprise that this would be any different for kids. Kids who exercise are not only healthier overall, but are more likely to make fitness a priority later in life.
Given the statistic that 30% of children in the United States are obese or overweight, if is more important now than ever to keep our kids active. But how should we do this? In a world where kids play hours on the computer or with game systems, it is often hard to get them doing something active — I know it is difficult with my older kids too.
Here are some ideas of fun activities to get your kids moving.
1. Set up obstacle courses in your backyard or at a local park. You can include a variety of activities like jumping rope, hopscotch, bike riding, hula hoop and Frisbee just to name a few.
2. We all know how much younger kids enjoy blowing and catching bubbles. Why not try this — blow the bubbles and have the kids catch the bubbles by doing a jumping jack motion.
3. Dancing is a great workout. To make this fun for kids, try doing “freeze dance”. Everyone will dance around (pick your kids favorite music), and after a few moments, pause the music and say “freeze”.
4. Swimming pool games can be a fun way to stay active (and cool!!) during those warm summer months. You could get a inflatable beach ball and have fun tossing it to each other and keeping it out of the water. For stronger swimmers, you could drop pennies in the pool and have kids fill up a treasure chest. Running in the water is also a great choice for a fun exercise.
5. Circuit training for kids can be a lot of fun. You can incorporate almost any sports drill, Yoga pose or exercise and this can be done indoors or outdoors. Set up 8-10 stations and alternate different exercises — cardio, strength, flexibility and balance exercises.
6. A game of tag can be fun for all ages. With younger children, when the child is “tagged” they can do a movement like an animal (crab walking, bird flying, snake slithering, etc). With older kids, you can clip several clothespins to your shirt and whoever gets rid of the clothespins first wins.
7. Kids Races are becoming more and more popular at racing events. These are fun events targeted towards the younger athletes in training. These events can give kids the chance to do something similar to what mom or dad might do.
8. There are a few video games out there that actually incorporate some exercise into them. Some of my kids favorites are Just Dance and Wii Sports Resort. They have fun exercising and don’t even realize it.
These are just a few ideas. Any activities we can use to entice our children to run, jump, push, pull, play, dance, balance, stretch, and let rip a little, bringing fresh blood to their muscles, looseness to their limbs, and alertness to their brains. Our kids are watching us everyday, we are their best teachers. Lets teach them to be healthy, active kids who can grow into healthy active adults.
What are some of your favorite activities to keep your kids active?