With childhood obesity on the rise and childhood activity on the decline getting our kids moving is an important component to parenting today.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, children and adolescents should be getting 60 minutes a day of mostly aerobic exercise.
Aerobic activities are those that get a person breathing deeper and their heart beating faster. With children the key is to keep it fun and variable. Keep in mind those 60 minutes a day don’t have to be continuous, with smaller children they may need to rest more or change activities often.
So what can we as parents do to encourage our kids to move? We can start be being good examples. Children who are part of an active family are more likely to continue an active lifestyle. Let your children see you exercising, take them with you to the gym, or have them cheer you on if you participate in any kind of recreational sports. Whenever possible and safe include them in your activities.
Here are some fun and interesting ideas and tips to get kids moving!
- Bike rides, whether they are on three wheels or two this is a great family activity. Strap on those helmets and go.
- Walks, or change it up by making it into a scavenger hunt.
- Races! Scooter races, bike races, foot races, hopping races! Make it official and have a start and finish line. Encourage competition, but no sore losers or winners.
- Hop scotch, it’s an oldie but a goodie.
- Wagon rides, fill the wagon with some favorite items and have your kids pull it, or pull each other, or just pull it empty.
- Organized sports; soccer, t-ball, gymnastics, dance. Let your child pick a favorite to participate in.
- Hit the playground. Let them play free, or create a game for them like an obstacle course. For example; two trips down the slide, four times on the swings, climb a ladder, sit on a bench 3 times, spin in a circle, and hop to a picnic table.
In our house we have a few go to activities that usually get our kids going. My daughters love their scooters and will ride them for hours. As a Baby Boot Camp instructor my kids get to accompany me to classes and enjoy participating, or just mimic mommy yelling out exercises. I also create workout “classes” for them. I pick a theme, like weather or the ocean, and use that to put a twist on traditional exercises.
Here’s some of our weather workout for you to try.
- Every day the sun rises – have them stretch and reach for the sky like the sun.
- Sometimes there are clouds, so dot the sky with clouds.
- Of course, rain also happens – so we run our arms from sky to ground pretending to be rain.
- Then thunder – stomp, stomp, stomp loud like thunder.
- LIGHTENING! Run fast like lightening!
I often just repeat this series a few times mixing up the order of the exercises. Make it even more interesting by adding props – like a sprinkler on a hot day, or have them do the exercises while keeping a balloon in the air. The more you make it about fun, the more kids will want to participate. So get silly, and get moving!
-Kyla, Baby Boot Camp Instructor
Be Fit. Be Strong. Be Together
Kyla is a Baby Boot Camp trainer, an ACE certified group fitness instructor, and a mom to two fabulous red-heads.