Kids, kids, kids…they either love running around and playing sports, or they absolutely despise it and refuse to move from the couch.
If you have a few couch potatoes sitting in front of your TV, don’t worry just yet. They aren’t doomed to a lifetime on their behinds! Your kids have a knack for developing habits relatively quickly, so use these tips to get them active and moving – and slowly (shock horror) they might even begin to like being active!
Teach by example
The best way for kids to learn anything is if the people they love and look up to (presumably you!) do the same. So to introduce your kids to fitness, it stands to reason that you must get fit yourself. You can join a health club; alternatively, maybe try doing small things like walking to the shops instead of driving, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Hopefully your little ones will soon follow suit!
Weekly family activities
Family outings are always fun, whether it is with your entire extended family, or just your immediate family. Having a barbeque at a local park, going to the beach, or even just visiting the zoo are all fun family activities that, while not explicitly active, do get your kids outside and moving – even if it is just walking around. If the weather is good, you can even bring out a Frisbee to throw around, or start an impromptu game of beach volleyball. It might just start a new family tradition!
Soccer, football, baseball…most ball sports involve playing in a team. It helps if your kid has some friends already playing or wanting to sign up for a team sport, because then they will think of going to practice as going to hang out with friends rather than going to get some exercise.
If you absolutely cannot get your kid to get their eyes off the screen, maybe you can at least get their bodies off the couch. Technology is evolving in such a way that video games no longer have to be played while sitting down. New consoles like the Xbox 360 Kinect and Wii allow players to use their bodies as the controller, forcing them to get up off the couch and move about in front of the screen. A word of warning though, before playing, make sure your kid has enough space to move around, or you might end up with a broken vase or two.
Getting your kids to be more active doesn’t have to be difficult; you just have to approach it from the right angle, and introduce it gradually into your kids’ lives in a way that suits them.
Lara Anderson is a fit freak who loves using her Xbox 360 Kinect to get more out of her workouts. In her spare time, she works out her brain by doing freelance writing. Guest post brought to you by Fitness First