Tuesday, May 1, 2012

fitness fun for kids with busy parents

family fitness | photo: Evil Erin

This is a guest post by Jeff Wise, the founder of My Family Exercise. Jeff believes, as I do, that family fun and exercise is important for the health of all members of the family.  He has created a line of ebooks and a Kids Health Club membership site to help children and parents decrease stress and improve physical fitness in a fun way.  For more information about Jeff and his programs you can visit his kids health and fitness blog or for daily advice follow Jeff on Twitter.

Even for a family like mine, with a stay at home mom and a work at home dad, life is still quite busy. There are errands, events, trips, and schooling just to name a few of the daily activities. Even if the whole family is home all day there are any number of things to do around the house every day with cleaning, laundry, and did I mention kids? Put it all together and it can sometimes be a challenge to get fitness on the calendar.

We are a very health conscious family; having studied health, nutrition and fitness for many years. We want to be able to serve one another and our community for many years to come. This means we’ve got to eat healthy foods daily and participate in regular exercise. I’ve found some really easy and fun fitness activities for kids that we, as parents, can teach our children while we're having fun too. You may look at some of these activities and consider them normal, or see them as nothing new. However they may be new ideas for your kids and these activities will encourage physical exertion and family fun.
Fresh air and sunshine, combined with physical activities, make for happy, healthy kids. I’m all for traditional exercises for kids but there are other opportunities as well:

1. Find a public playground – Kids love playgrounds and so do parents. It’s a great chance for kids to climb, slide, run and use their imaginations. Playgrounds can also give parents a little mental and physical break (as long as the kids are old enough to play without parental supervision).

2. Stroll through your neighborhood – If you haven’t figured it out yet, the walking possibilities are endless for families. After a busy day, this option is the most accessible. It can easily be done after dinner. And, since you’re not going far from the house, you can really do it throughout the year.

3. Go ice or roller skating – This activity helps with coordination and muscle strength. It also gets kids' heart rates up. Just make sure they wear safety padding.

4. Set up a relay race in your home or outside – Designate a starting and ending point. Have them run around furniture, crawl under tables or jump over objects. The path can change with each race.

5. Do yard work together – Kids can really learn the value of hard labor by working in the yard. Teach them how to pull weeds, plant flowers and even mow the lawn. My favorite idea is something I hope to start soon now that warmer weather is coming. How about planting and working on an organic vegetable garden? Not only do you get the benefit of exercise and outdoor activity, think of all the delicious vegetables you'll get to enjoy.

Again, these may seem normal and not traditional in the exercise sense, but kids love it and it keeps them active; something we want on a regular basis. Your kids aren’t going to do pushups and other traditional exercises (which they may see as boring) every day so why not have fun with these fitness activities for kids?

Make a date with your kids and plan an activity each week. Be sure to put it in writing; as busy parents it’s easy to forget or put something off unless it’s written down right in front of us.


Anonymous said...

Let’s face it to enjoy your spare time you must get into some sort of physical training routine. You must develop this arduous zest for life deep in the central heart of your being. This zeal for life must be in your purpose. The essential practices of your purpose must be an athlete endeavor. We must be faithful to our practices and teach the essentials to all who would benefit. These essential benefits help you to function with your optimum efficiency. It allows you to function as an organic whole, not overt, unnecessary tension that stems from the ego. If your core is weak, other areas outside the core have to compensate. Don’t be a casual observer while life passes you by. Love every minute of it.

“Core Training” is the definition of essential practices we are looking for, whether it be Pilates, martial arts, yoga, the Olympiads, and dance all have core training as its key. But, golf will also benefit from core training. You simply must have core strength to be a powerful and explosive athlete. To have that vibrant youthful resiliency, you must have core strength. The “Core Strength” can be achieved by motivating yourself to focus on an all body exercise regime, covering your arms, abs, back. shoulders, glutes, legs, and glued togther with a balanced diet, but firstly you must be motivated to achive balance in your life, without the necessary motivation all your goals and ambitions will end in nothing.

Jeff@MyFamilyExercise said...

I don't believe kids fitness should be complicated or just a watered down version of adult exercises.

Although I think core training is great for serious adult fitness I don't think it should be a priority for children.