A healthy and active lifestyle starts at home. Here’s a few tips to encourage health and fitness lessons that will last a lifetime.
1. Make fitness a top priority. Many kids face the same workout obstacles as adults: Fitness is an afterthought. Creating a detailed fitness plan works for both adults and kids. Plan fitness activities throughout the week for the whole family.
2. Lead by example. Children with active dads are 3.5 times more likely to exercise than those with inactive dads. But when both mum and dad are active, kids are 6 times more likely to exercise.
3. Create a ‘team’. The best way to stick to an exercise program and to make it fun is to make is social. Get some friends together to get in shape for a 5k race or a hiking trip. For kids, be sure to start and end exercise with high-fives or a cheer.
4. Make fitness fun. Find activities that you and your kids truly enjoy doing, such as riding bikes, rollerblading, sports, etc. When exercise was fun or playful, 83% of overweight kids did it consistently. And kids who took part in 10 weeks of sports and games viewed exercise more positively and were more likely to engage in fitness activities again.
5. Make your gym portable. A playground or backyard can be a perfect exercise spot. Try racing up the slide and sliding down, do this five times. Do as many chin-ups as you can on the bars, or climb ropes. Do a few sets of pushups with your hands or feat on a beam or slide. Finish by jumping onto the benches and racing around the playground
6. Serve smoothies. Exercise can be its own reward, but we all may need a little extra encouragement sometimes. Integrate rewards into your activities when you think your kids may need a boost. They’ll associate a long hike or tough bike ride with a cool fruit smoothie reward.
7. Cut down on Tv time. Remember Tv is the enemy of activity: Kids are twice as likely not to get enough exercise if they are planted in front of the TV for more than 2 hours a day.
8. Think outside the Gym. Kids want to go, go, go. And the gym can feel like a prison, for you and your kids. Exercise doesn’t have to be regimented and confined-mix it up. Gardening, nature walks, bike rides, walking the dog…just get out there and be active.