Encouraging your kids to exercise can be fun for the entire family!
Despite what some might believe encouraging your kids to exercise is one of the easiest tasks as a parent. The difficult part is motivating parents to become more involved. If you are not into fitness chances our your child will not be. Not saying you have to be a gym buff or a fitness freak but it takes very little effort for you to become a child’s fitness role model. Exercise does not have to be your old school gym class push-ups, jumping jacks etc.. Playing is just as if not more effective for children. Playing tag, swimming, going for a bike ride are just some examples of excellent exercises for young children.
I do believe that no matter how much you preach to your children about exercising if you do not practice what you preach it will fall on deaf ears or as Kiara says blind ears. Some parents are too lazy to bring their children to the park so they rather have their child play video games or watch TV. In our house, besides everyday exercising, we take a day a week to go to the park for a day of fitness. We pack a healthy lunch bring a football, soccer ball, volleyball, tennis equipment, and even a fitness trampoline. We don’t necessarily play those games as we usually make up our own. Most parks nowadays have some type of fitness trail so we usually do half that to start the day off and in between activities there is a race or two.
I myself do go to the gym regularly. When I was choosing a gym it was important for me to find a gym with a kids club. You pay a little extra but the benefits are worth it. I wanted Kiara to see that I went 5 days a week. Wanted her to grow up thinking it is part of life no different than working, eating, spending time with family or any of our other daily routines. I wanted her to think it was something everyone does, I wanted her to understand how important health is. The kids club was also a place for her to socialize and meet new friends and as a result, she, wanted to go every day so it also motivated me when I didn’t feel like going.
Every question she had about the gym no matter how annoying was worth it. As it eventually led to her asking when can she start using the machines(children should not be encouraged to “work out”).
Kiara now believes it is part of your daily routine and proudly participates. She would always ask why are you going to the gym and I would always have the same response…..because I care about myself and I love you and I want to live a long healthy life for you.
What if it Raining?
Sometimes if it is raining we simply build a little indoor obstacle course. To keep her interest I always have her design the course. Obviously nothing extreme but just something to be active and have fun. Making dance videos is another fun indoor exercise for children. On a nice day, we might make an outdoor obstacle course or just play on the trampoline. The possibilities are endless with just a little imagination and more importantly a little fatherly involvement.
As a new group, Fathers’N’Kids, has a goal of eventually offering exercise meet-ups, recipes, tips and a weekly web show to assist in making our children healthier.
CHILDHOOD OBESITY IN AMERICA IS AN EPIDEMIC