For many parents and kids, the exercise they get is minimal. Parents usually try to squeeze exercise in their schedule while the kids are in school. A lot of children do not get enough exercise throughout their day either. Be it because of other responsibilities or because working out is not a habit for most people, lack of physical activity is definitely affecting both parents and children. But with just a bit of effort and initiative from the parents’ side, children can grow into happy and healthy people.
To make this change, first look closely at your exercise and diet habits. Are they matching the ideal you would like to teach your kids? You are your children’s biggest model, so if you are not setting the example, they are not very likely to pick up new healthy habits. It is also important not to push them or order them to do a specific exercise every day. Insisting that they become more active and controlling how they do so is only going to create a bigger aversion towards any physical activity. You have to be both patient and active if you want your children to be as well.
Go for a walk
Walking is a great form of exercise for kids. They may not be strong enough to plank for one minute, but they can walk for a long time. The best time to go for a walk is around dinner, because evening walks will result in a night of better sleep for both of you. If you have an older child, they may be interested in riding their scooters, tricycles, or skateboards while you are out for your walk, but that is also good, the more exercise both of you get in, the better.
Run with your kids
Running is terrific exercise for kids. By including your kids in your running routine, they will be more likely to pick up the practice. Here are some tips on how to make running fun for your children.
Since they are filled with energy, you may even feel like they are the ones setting mileage and pace. Running requires a lot of energy and burns a lot of fat which makes it a great way to regulate your child’s health and keep their bodies active. Studies also show that exercise can aid in falling asleep and boost sleep quality which means you might find that your child sleeps like a baby again!
Additionally, running is one of the greatest stress relievers you can find and is a great way to manage depression and mental health. If you sense that your child is anxious or stressed, going for a run with them may help a lot, especially if you are running outside. There is something magical about combining exercise and nature. If you notice your child struggling with their mental health, a regular run could be just what they need to help them process their thoughts and emotions.
Yoga is one of the most relaxing exercises, and it can bring a lot of benefits to both you and your kids. One thing in particular that yoga can help kids with is developing body awareness. Many kids tend to struggle with their body image at a very young age, especially when other mental health issues are present, such as depression or stress. Yoga is an exercise which will bring them strength while teaching them how to use their body in a healthy way. It also increases confidence and self-esteem, which will reflect in every area of their life.
Dance it out
You may think that a home dance session could not count as a form of exercise, but you would be wrong. Blast your music and start jumping around and dancing with your kid, and you will see how out of breath you can get. It is actually a great cardiovascular exercise, and you will notice how happy your child will be while you are dancing like crazy. Jumping to the music increases their mood and makes them extra exhausted and eager to hit the sack.
Apart from improving their physical and mental health, exercising together is also an excellent opportunity to bond with your child and talk about anything and everything. After making it your daily habit, they will be looking forward to your exercise every day. Having a workout buddy in your kid means always having company and a great source of motivation.
Noah Markin is the editor in chief @Runnerclick.com. He loves lifting all kinds of heavy objects.