The Parental Workout Sneak AttackPosted: April 25, 2012 in Getting Active by Craig Primack MD FACP
Four ways to keep your kid’s exercise from feeling like exercise
In this digital age of computers, cable TV, smartphones and video games, it can be difficult to get your kids outside for some good old-fashioned physical activity. Children, like most of our population, are becoming increasingly inactive in their daily lives, making your role all the more crucial in helping them steer clear of childhood obesity by promoting regular activity and, if necessary, healthy weight loss.
Chandler is as good a place as any for your kids to sweat it out, but forcing your child into some unwanted exercise will inevitably result in some unpleasant backlash. Instead, try some of these tips to get your kids to work out on the sly.
Add some activity to family fun night. When I was a kid, my family would gather each Friday night for our mandatory weekly family activity: movie night. Gathering the clan like this is a great way for all of you to bond, but it can also be a great opportunity to get everyone off their butts. Forego movies or television for a sport the whole family can enjoy, like mini golf or bowling. If all of you are outdoorsy types, try taking everyone for a hike or bike ride.
Try introducing some more active video games. Sure, buying more video games may seem like the complete opposite of a solution to this problem, but many games, particularly motion-controlled ones, can actually get your kids up off the couch. Some systems use a balance board controller to guide players through fitness games using aerobics, balance exercises, strength training and yoga.
Get them to walk more. Live close to the library, school, grocery store or somewhere your child loves going? Instead of driving there, try walking and take your kids with you. Though it may be difficult to get your kids to walk aimlessly for exercise like many of us adults do, picking a destination your children enjoy is a good way to get them excited about getting on their feet.
Get a furry friend. If your child has been bugging you about getting a dog, maybe it’s time to cave. Sure, it’s easy to focus on the dirty paws, barking and cleanup, but think of it as more of an opportunity for your kid to get some exercise. Your child chasing around a playful puppy all day long will tire both of them out, while walking the dog is a task your young one may jump at. Make it known that you’ll only get a dog on the condition that your child takes care of it and you may have an easy way to get your kid out and active each and every day.
These are just a few tips to help motivate your children to move and unknowingly work in some daily exercise. This in return will help promote healthy lifestyle habits they’ll likely carry with them as they grow up.