Tuesday, January 30, 2018

6 Fun Easy Ways to Get Kids to Exercise No Matter What the Weather


Guest Post 
by Jesse Silkoff 
Personal Training Expert 

If you think sticking to your own exercise plan is difficult, try getting a child to do it! Kids may have a lot more energy than we adults do, but usually, about 60% of that energy is invested in resisting whatever healthy changes you’re trying to get them to make in their daily habits. And of course -- with TV, video games and tablets abounding -- it can definitely be hard to urge kids off the couch and toward more active exercise. 

Thankfully, it’s not impossible to raise healthy, active kids—you just have to get them motivated. Read on for some great inspiration that can get even the most surly little ones off the couch and outside for some fresh air and exercise.

Six Ways to Make Family Exercise More Fun 

Invite Friends Along
Older kids are motivated by social relationships—which means they’re a lot more likely to exercise if their friends join them. Let kids invite their friends for a group bike ride or hike. It’ll be a lot harder for them to flake out last minute if their friend is sitting in the car. Studies also show that exercising with encouraging, supportive friends makes kids much more likely to stick to an exercise program. So, encouraging your son or daughter to pick their most enthusiastic friend(s) to tag along can turn this into a win-win for everyone.

Give Kids Lots of Options
Team sports are not for everyone. I can think of about a billion other things 10-year-old me would have rather done than play sports. If your child is not into sports, that doesn't mean there aren't other healthy activities they can engage in. With such a range of dance, yoga, kickboxing, skating and more extra curriculars available, there are so many different ways to be fit that your kid is bound to find a physical activity they actually enjoy. Besides, it can be very empowering for young people to make (and benefit from) their own choices.

Keep it Playful
Most of us adults actually take working out too seriously -- we make it a second job and rid it of any joy in the process. Working out with kids is a great reminder that exercise is supposed to be fun and that play is often the best way to get and stay active. Kids, in particular, are a lot more likely to stick to an activity they enjoy. So it's a good to help them discover ways to gamify exercise. Play tag, capture the flag and all the other outdoor games you loved when you were young. Just as fun, allow kids to teach you how to play active mobile games like PokemonGo. The best part? You'll spend more quality time playing with your kids!

Start Small
Let's face it: if you haven't been active in awhile, it can be hard to get into the program. Nothing's as dispiriting as cramping after a short jaunt around the block. Kids may be younger, still they face some of the same mental and physical obstacles to exercising as adults do. One big hurdle is inspiration drain. When you first start exercising, you're all excited and think you can go for miles. But, once that inspiration starts to dry up, it's hard to keep up with the demanding goals you've set. Start slow and stay patient with kids. Reward yourself and the children for small achievements as well as large ones. Just sticking with it, together, can be the biggest triumph itself.

Pay Them to Do Active Chores
Money is a great motivator, and older kids, especially, will appreciate this perk. Pay kids to do active family chores such as walking the dog, running errands for you on their bicycle, raking leaves, mowing the lawn, helping in the garden, sweeping, mopping and vacuuming the house, or cleaning out the garage or attic. Set tiered amounts for age-appropriate household tasks for each child so more active duties are worth more than say, loading the dishwasher or setting the dinner table.

Be a Good Role Model
As a parent, you know it's not enough to tell your kids what to do -- you have to take your advice too. Your attitude toward health, fitness, nutrition and your body image will have a surprisingly big impact on your little one's approach throughout their own life. So, try and get any of your own bad behaviors in check now so you can be a role model for the kids. That means planning active family outings where the whole crew stays healthy. It means actually dragging yourself to that yoga or spinning class or saying no to that second helping of dinner or a late night snack. 

Hey, sometimes kids can become the true motivators and make the best coaches for us grownup too. Why not go for it?

About the Author
Jessee Silkoff is an avid runner and tennis player. He works, plays and resides in Austin, TX where he is president and co-founder of FitnessTrainer.com Personal Training, a leading online marketplace for finding a local personal trainer who can help you achieve your health and wellness goals.

FTC Disclosure: All content for this story was provided by FitnessTrainer.com. However, no compensation was exchanged in association with this post. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.

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