In today’s society, your child might be more accustomed to pick up his iPod or turn on the TV instead of going outside to play (like in the olden days!). Undoubtedly, exercise is one of the most important factors of raising a healthy child. Unfortunately, the activities completed during school recess or physical education usually aren’t enough.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), children and teens should be physically active for one hour per day. Daily exercise helps children improve their moods and attitudes, increase their quality of sleep, lower their risk of physical or mental illness, and attain many other advantages.
How can you help your child reach this goal?
You can work out with them. These 13 simple exercises can be fun for you and your child:
- Take a walk. Go out and explore your neighborhood by walking, jogging, or running around sidewalks or pathways.
- Join an exercise class. Yoga is a really fun way to combine exercise and meditation, and many studios are now opening their classes up to teens and younger children. You can also try other fun exercises classes, such as Pilates.
- Adopt a dog. Don’t give us that look! We know that this might seem like an offbeat suggestion, but dogs are actually a lot of hard work – most of which involves walking and playing with them every day.
- Play a sport. Sports are a phenomenal way of keeping fit while having fun. Encourage your child to join teams or even start his or her own team. A spontaneous game with friends and neighbors is another fun way to play team sports.
- Go dancing. Your child can join a ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, line dancing, or other type of dance class. Some dance schools even offer parent/child dance classes for smaller children.
- Bike instead of drive. Give your car (and fists) the day off and bike with your kids to a friend’s house, the library, or a local park.
- Stage competitions. Children are naturally competitive, especially where their siblings are concerned. Stage impromptu push-up, pull-up, jump rope, hula hoop, or sit-up competitions in your living room or backyard.
- Go for a swim. Whatever the season, swimming is one of the best physical activities. Go to a local indoor or outdoor pool and let your kids have fun.
- Take up gymnastics. This is a great activity to strengthen your muscles, and there are many places that cater exclusively to children.
- Go rock-climbing. Establishments with rock-climbing walls are usually very cautious about preventing injuries, so you don’t need to feel nervous about letting your children climb.
- Ride a horse. Horseback riding can be suitable for children and adults of all ages. Plus it’s perfect for kids who are big animal lovers.
- Buy video games. We know, we know, we’re contradicting ourselves, but certain video games can actually help your kids stay active while they play.
- Participate in a fundraiser. Many foundations and nonprofit organizations raise money by staging walks or runs. This is a perfect way of supporting a while exercising.