When it comes to kids and fitness, fun is the key. It's the key to motivate them to move and to get away from the video screens. It's the key to a healthy lifestyle and healthy habits that last a lifetime.
So, what are some ways you try to get your kids to work out? Bribery? How about fun? Here are four ideas that you can use for getting kids fit the fun way.
- Fitness Games--Make fitness a game. Kids can play Simon Says where one of them is Simon. Simon will call out an exercise like jumping jacks, sit-ups, etc. and the others do what Simon says. Then they take turns being Simon. UNO is another fun way to get fit. They can use the deck of cards to decide together what exercise each color and Wild Card represents. The number is how many times they do the exercise. A Wild Card is when the person who drew the card says how many times to do the exercise.
- Join them--Joining your kids for their workout is not only fun for them, it's fun for you too. Go on and "I SpyWalk". Play "I Spy" as you walk or hike. Head to the swimming pool and swim laps or swim relay laps. Ride bikes or go roller-skating or rollerblading together either in the neighborhood or at a local skating rink. Yard work may not seem fun, but it's a great workout, and you can incorporate lots of creative ideas to make it fun. Just use your imagination, or better yet, your kid's imagination.
- Random--Random ways to exercise make it spontaneous because you never know what will get chosen for the activity. Draw popsicle sticks out of cups that have physical activities written on them like march in place, run, skip, hop and more. Using dice or a deck of cards is another fun way to mix up the work out. Just choose what each number or card represents like you did in "UNO."
- Videos--Ok. I know what you're thinking on this one. You're thinking, "now didn't you just say we wanted to get the kids away from the video screens?" Yes, I did, and yes, we still want them to get away from that. However, this is different. It's different because the videos they will watch have them interact by movement and exercise, whereas the other videos are passive or have little interaction. Some great places to get fun kid fitness videos are the following links: 9 Best Exercise Videos for Kids, Indoor Dance Moves, and videos onYouTube that are fit for kids.
There you have it. A great list of ideas to get your kids motivated to move. What other ideas can you think of? Check out our Youth and Families page for even more great ideas!