Kids are different to adults; they don’t set aside time to go to an exercise class or work on 30 minutes a day of physical activity. They focus on playing and having fun when they aren’t busy with school or growing up. But they still require around 60 minutes of activity each day, so how can you encourage kids to get fit?
Turn your backyard into a kiddie gym
The same way you decided a home gym was going to keep you fit all year round you can make it easy for your kids to get active at home. Visiting the playground is the child’s equivalent of a gym sesh so why not set up some MyDeal playground equipment in the yard.
Lacking in space? Outdoor play tents are a great solution for smaller garden areas. They fold away neatly when not being used and are entirely portable so you can provide the kids a place to run around when you’re visiting family and friends as well.
Make it a game
It’s imperative to talk positively to your children about the importance of being healthy and active. To get them thinking positively about physical activity, use language like “I feel so good after going for a walk each night, would you like to start coming with me?”. However, if your child proclaims they hate planned exercise, here are some fun activities to get them outside and moving from the LifeShape Clinic's Dietitian Nicola Moore:
- Play Simon Says and incorporate body movements like “Simon says do 10 jumping jacks“ or play follow the leader and climb over and under small obstacles
- Go indoor rock-climbing, do low ropes courses, or go to a Bounce trampoline centre
- Try golf, put-put, or go to a large zoo with a lot of walking between exhibits to get their daily steps up
- Have a water balloon fight or get squirt guns to chase each other with
Overall, keep food and activity fun. Kids won’t do something they don’t enjoy.
Stay fit as a family
Lizzy Williamson, creator of Two Minute Moves, is one seriously fit mum. She inspires her kids to keep active by joining in the exercise with them and making sure it’s a frequent part of their life.
“In our family we have a ‘non-negotiable’ family walk on the weekends. My daughters whinge and whine when it’s time to go but as soon as we start walking, the conversations start to flow and before you know it we’ve walked for an hour without complaint.”
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Most kids really love being active, they just need a push in the right direction sometimes. Keep their love for exercise alive with these easy at-home ideas.