Regular exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Children who exercise regularly with their parents are far more likely to make physical activity a part of their life in adulthood and are thus at a far lower risk for a number of serious diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.
Kids who exercise also often exhibit longer attention spans and perform better in school. Here are five ways that you can keep your kids physically active and happy all year long.
1. Plan Regular Outdoor Family Excursions
One easy way to ensure that the whole family gets the exercise they need is to make a habit of planning outdoor activities one day every weekend. Depending on where you live, there are quite a few types of activities that can be enjoyed by everyone in your family.
Planning a hike, for example, is a great way to get in not only cardiovascular activity but an appreciation for the outdoors. If there is a bike path in your town, taking the family on a bike or scooter ride is as fun as it is beneficial to the whole family’s health.
2. Encourage Them to Join a Team
Organized sports are a great way to keep kids active through out the year. Team sports are great for kids because they are social and a great way for children to build teamwork skills. Sports keep children disciplined and allow them to get in the habit of maintaining an exercise routine as a way of improving their physical performance. Keeping kids in different sports year round is a great way to add variety and excitement to their physical activity.
3. Invest in “Toys” the Whole Family Can Enjoy Together
Physical activity can be a lot of fun, especially when it comes in the form of activities that are fun and exhilarating. Investing in toys that the whole family can enjoy together is a great way for families to bond by sharing a common interest. It can also assure that your kids will be moving all year long.
Investing in bikes, scooters, surfboards, or other similar items allows for a fun and healthy dose of exercise that can be enjoyed every weekend and even after school and work and on vacation. Your family is far more likely to engage in any give activity if everyone has the same type of equipment to enjoy, so consider what type of activity everyone will enjoy.
4. Make a Habit of Taking After Dinner Walks
Regular walking has been shown to have a number of major health benefits. Walking helps maintain heart health and can keep blood pressure down. It also burns calories and helps maintain a happy and healthy mood. Going on walks every night after dinner is a great way to wrap up the day in a healthy way and gets kids and adults alike in the habit of making movement a part of daily life. Invite your kids to choose the route your family will walk on or encourage them to bring their bikes or scooters.
5. Limit Video Games to Those That Use Physical Activity
Many video games are counterproductive when it comes to cultivating good physical activity and habits and lifestyle choices, but the reality is that many kids love video games. If you want to allow your child to play video games, make a compromise by insisting that the games they play are for Wi or another system that uses physical activity to play games. This is a great way to keep kids moving all year long while satisfying their desire to game.