It’s no secret that regular exercise has tremendous health benefits. As little as a few minutes of exercise per day can have a big impact on your overall health, energy and mood. By establishing a routine that includes exercise, you’ll help your children make a healthy lifestyle their healthy habit.
Here are 6 tips for teaching children the benefits of regular exercise:
1. Make it Fun
While adults sometimes grumble about going for a jog or to the gym, children don’t have a negative view of exercise. In fact, children have lots of energy! One of the most challenging things about making exercise part of your child’s routine will be keeping their attention. By making it fun through blood-pumping games like tag or a trip to the playground, you’ll be getting some exercise with smiles to spare. There are also lots of childrens’ exercise videos on YouTube for those rainy days. Kids can join parents on Human Trainer and Resistance Band workouts too. Since there are no weights involved they can’t really get injured and will love working out with mom and dad!
2. Lead by Example
If you want your children to have a healthy, regular exercise routine, show them the way. Just like washing your hands and brushing your teeth, model exercise as a daily habit that you also enjoy. You don’t need to do a workout video or head to the gym. It can be as simple as a daily walk around the neighborhood or a dance party in your living room. Anything that breaks a sweat is a good start.
3. Sign Up For Sports
When children get to interact with others on a team, they can enjoy exercise without thinking about the process. As they play games and do drills with the team, they’re learning valuable skills like cooperation, teamwork and responsibility.
4. Have Your Children Set Goals
Praise your children’s efforts and discuss how they did during certain exercise routines. Whether it’s a sporting event or a home exercise, set new goals for each other each week. For example, if you start with 10 jumping jacks each morning, gradually build the number up by adding 3 to 5 extra jumping jacks per week. By incrementally increasing activity, you’ll show your children the benefit of hard work over time.
5. Set a Move Moment
Most fitness trackers encourage you to stand or walk around on an hourly basis, but you don’t need an Apple Watch to make a move. Pick a time each hour to stand, stretch, dance it out, or take a stroll. This will help your children be aware of how long they’ve been sitting, and they’ll avoid being sedentary for too long.
6. Take the Long Way
Instead of circling the lot for a nearby parking spot, take the further option and walk. If you have a choice between the stairs and the elevator, take the stairs when possible. Many cities are walkable so try to choose foot or bike transportation if you can. Your children will get the benefits of heart healthy movement, and you can turn simple errands into happy, healthy memories for all.
By making exercise a priority in your home, you’ll be able to squeeze regular exercise into your routine. Children enjoy being active and will appreciate your efforts to make more time for family exercise in their day. If you’re lucky, they may even need a nap after their activities! Dont worry if the weather doesnt agree with your plans for exercise. You can always swap your scheduled plan for an indoor activity. If you need to miss a day due to unforeseen issues, don’t sweat it. Schedule your next exercise activity as soon as possible, and always be positive of your children’s exercise efforts. Healthy habits begin at home. Get moving today!
Guest Blogger Bio: Valerie is a contributing writer for Health & Wellness Medical Centre. In her spare time, she enjoys shopping and spending time doing outdoor activities.