Teaching your kids the benefits of living a healthy and active lifestyle is extremely important for both their current and future health. But, as any parent knows, it can sometimes be quite a challenge. Forcing kids to participate in activities they don’t enjoy can cause them to rebel and despise the exact principles you are trying to teach them. Instead, focus on planning fun physical activities that the kids will love doing for even many hours per day. There are hundreds of fun options that will get kids interested in physical activity and exercise; you just have to get motivated to join them in the process.
Classic games that kids get into often have some sort of tag component. From basic freeze tag, sardines, to the basic hide and go seek. Just freeze tag will get your kids running more in one game than they normally would all week long. The more people you get involved the better, so invite the entire neighborhood.
Even if your kids play organized sports, it is still fun for them to have a pickup game with all of their family and friends. Call up your family friends and organize a weekly football, baseball, or soccer game where all ages can get their daily activity and then some. You will realize how good of a workout it is once your pickup games have lasted 2-3 hours and you are exhausted.
Hiking is a great way for the family to get outdoors and exercise. When you go hiking, you sometimes don’t even realize how much of a workout it is until you are back at home later in the day and your entire body is sore. To make it more fun for kids, buy a GPS (or use your cell phone — there are some great geocaching apps out there!) and join a geocaching club that hides small caches for people to find. Sometimes the hike can take an hour and sometimes it may take six depending on the “difficulty level” of the cache you choose to try to find. There are fun geocaching hikes for all ages and athletic abilities. It’s a GREAT way to get the whole family out of the house and out in nature. For more information about geocaching, check out https://www.geocaching.com.
We are in Florida, after all, so this could be one of the most exciting ways for your kids to stay fit while doing something they love. It could be surfing, body boarding, swimming, skim boarding, inner tubing, or just playing around with their friends on the beach. There are plenty of opportunities to get in shape at the beach.
An obvious choice that is often overlooked is just to grab the bikes and head out on a nice ride as an entire family. Set some goals such as a distance, time, or destination to make it new and exciting every time. It’s always fun to explore a new place!
People forget how much fun playing Frisbee is and the physical benefits from throwing around a disc. You can get a game of ultimate Frisbee going, head to a disc golf course, or just throw it around among your friends and family. Either way, you are guaranteed to get some exercise.
There are many versions of wide games that usually involve a treasure hunt, seizure of a treasure, or land conquering games. Kids can create their own unique version or stick with classics like cops and robbers. Games like these that they can play in the community will get everyone involved and always be a lot of fun while simultaneously providing exercise.
Just because summer rains have ruined the great outdoors for your family doesn’t mean you don’t still need to be physically active every day. Pick up some things like hula hoops, jump ropes, twister, mini trampoline, or Dance Dance Revolution. Even some modern video games, like the Wii Fit series, are created to get the entire family active indoors.
The most basic human instinct is still a ton of fun for kids. You can run, bike ride, roller blade, skateboard, or whatever it is that is most fun for the people involved. The goal is simple, get from the starting line to the finish line before everyone else. Make some prizes for the winners and get kids racing against each other for fun. They won’t even realize you are tricking them into running on a daily basis.
If you are concerned about your child’s physical fitness and are wondering if they are staying active enough, don’t hesitate to contact MacKoul Pediatrics at 239-573-2001 about a wellness checkup or physical exam.
MacKoul Pediatrics is an amazing local pediatrics office in Cape Coral, FL where caring, compassionate doctors and nurses work with you to keep your children as healthy as possible. MacKoul cares for children from birth to college age, from Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Naples, and beyond.
May 9, 2015