When Dave and I were first married, we would talk about our future family. We would talk about dreams we had for our family and what types of things we wanted to do to create a happy family unit. One thing we both would talk about was our desire to raise a healthy family. Now that we are parents, we are put in the position to make that dream a reality.
It can be tough to make your kids eat all of their vegetables, but one thing that is easy to teach your kids about is exercise. Kids don’t look at being active as exercise. They look at it as play. Have you tried to play some of their activities lately? They can be a good workout! What happens between age 4 and 30 to make us realize that being active is no longer an enjoyable activity, but is looked out as exercise? I think life just gets in the way a lot of times, but I also think it is important to each kids while they are young that being active isn’t a bad thing. It can be fun and should be a natural part of their daily lives.
The best way to teach a child about healthy habits, is through example. Get out there and live a healthy and active lifestyle that your kids can see. Even better? Involve your kids too! Here are five ways I suggest teaching your kids about staying active as an adult.
1. Go for a walk- We love going for walks as a family. It is a great time to get outside, get unplugged from our devices, and to be able to enjoy conversation. It is great exercise too! You can play different games with younger kids if they get restless if they are in a stroller during a walk too. You can have them listen for different things and have you guess what they hear, or have them look for items on your walk too!
2. Do an exercise video- I love doing exercise videos when the weather is no good outside. Although the workout is usually a little more intense if I do it during nap time, I prefer to do my workout videos when my daughter can participate with me. She doesn’t do anything with weights or anything, but she loves to mimic my actions. She isn’t necessarily getting an intense aerobic workout, but she is watching her mom do an exercise while engaging with her. It is all about teaching by example.
3. Play on the playground- This can be a seriously intense workout as an adult. As a kid, I never thought about how much work it was to swing, run up the tires, or climb the monkey bars. Playing on a playground is just natural for kids. Little kids love seeing their parents play with them on the playground. This is a great way to show your kids that you want to engage with them, but you aren’t too lazy to get up and get some physical activity either!
4. Workout in the backyard- I have recently found my favorite way of working out. I love working out in my yard while my daughter plays on her swing set. I take a yoga mat, a set of hand weights, and water out by her swing set and I do a circuit workout while she plays. When it is time for me to do high knees, lunges, or just a little jog, I do them around the swing set. She thinks it is the funniest thing in the world to see her mom run around her swing set. I love doing triceps dips off of a little ledge on the swing set too. After my daughter is done swinging, she comes in and joins me in doing dips, wall sits, and planks. Have you ever seen a 2 year old plank? It looks more like a two year old laying on a yoga mat while laughing at her mom who’s arms are shaking from being in a plank. It is fun and it teaches kids that you can take your intense workout anywhere!
5. Go swimming- There aren’t many kids in the world who don’t love swimming. Swimming is a great cardiac workout. Although you probably won’t be swimming laps while your kids are at the pool with you, you can still get a good workout in by lifting your kids onto slides, lifting them to help them float, and throwing them into the air to make them splash. Once again, it is all about teaching by example. Don’t be the parent who sits on the side and plays on their phone while they feel bad about how they look in a swimming suit. Do something about it and swim with your kids!
Here’s to a happy and healthy summer! How will you show your kids how to be active through your example?
You can find more great healthy posts on my blog too! These healthy recipes are delicious!