Kids are more sedentary than they’ve ever been, which should come as no surprise since, as a whole, the U.S. population is too. Some causes are obvious: Playing once involved baseball gloves and sweat, and now it involves video game controls.
Here are some tips to get kids exercising without while having fun.
- Buy video games that make them move. Games such as Nintendo’s Wii Fit system, make children move around in order to win.
- Rotate Active Chore. Mowing the lawn, vacuuming, taking out the trash – they all count as activity. Change the assignment board every week so everybody gets to do something new and work different muscles.
- Make a family night about moving around. Ditch the movies in favor of bowling or miniature golf – exercises that are fun, competitive and can involve the whole family. Bike, hike, run races or play catch with a football or softball.
- Have a step competition. Get everybody in the family to wear a pedometer and keep track of how many steps they take over the course of a day. Write each person’s daily score on a white board on the refrigerator. At the end of the week, whoever wins decides the activity for the weekend.
- Walk, walk, walk. Talk family walks to the store, the library or your children’s friend’s house.
- Puppy play. Dogs need to be walked 2 or 3 times a day. Make caring for your pet part of their daily playtime and you’ve built in additional daily exercises.
- Pool resources. Not every family has the money or a back yard pool big enough for a pool. To avoid the temptation to crank up the AC and stay indoors this summer; visit the community pool. There, the kids will have so much fun; they won’t realize that they’re exercising.
- Be creative. There are very simple things you can do, like set up an obstacle course in the basement or living room. Think up ways they can actively play rather than sit in front of the television on a rainy day.