Image by: Public Domain Images
By Robert Spencer
A new study confirms that a lot of parents with children who are obese think that their children are healthy. Their children’s inactivity and weight gain isn’t something that bothers them. They believe that their kids aren’t in danger of any health concerns. However, the statistics of children with early on-set and children’s diabetes is rising every minute.
In addition to that, the same study also concluded that most of those parents would rather change their children’s diets instead of making them get up and move around. Physical activity levels are at an all-time low amongst our youngesters.
Most of these parents would rather stay comfortable inside than go out and play with their kids. What’s more, parents who are obese are less likely to change their children’s diet or activity level at all. What does this say about our society?
Getting up and getting moving is the first step to getting healthy. This doesn’t mean that you need to take a family trip to the gym. You can do little things in order to live an active lifestyle – things that don’t involve gym equipment.
Geocaching is a worldwide scavenger hunt. Once you register on their website (free or paid subscription), you can view the “caches” near your area. No matter where you live, I can almost guarantee that there will be a few in your area. Then, punch the coordinates into you GPS, your phone, or tablet, and follow the trails that lead to your treasure.
This is a great way to get your kids up and moving, and still have fun as a family. Sure the “treasures” aren’t normally worth much but it’s the journey (and the discovery of the various caches) that makes this activity fun. Most of these caches are out in the woods and along trails so you can get a healthy dose of Vitamin D and fresh air while you’re at it.
#2) Water or Snow Day
Play outside. It’s really as simple as that. In the summer, plan a water day with your kids. Bust out the water guns, water balloons, and pool. Play some relay games. In the fall, you can play in the leaves or just head out to the park. In the winter, you can have a snow day with your kids.
To make it even more special, plan it with your wife (and your kids’ teachers) and pull them out of school for a “surprise snow day”. If you don’t live in a place that has a lot of snow, why not go find some and play in that snow.
#3) Pedometer Races
If you are busy with work, you can still positively influence your kids’ activity levels by having “pedometer races” with your kids. Buy a pedometer for each member of your family and challenge each other to see who can take the most steps in 24 hours or in a work week. Then, whoever “wins” can choose a prize for the weekend. Perhaps the winner can get a fro-yo or
#4) Family Chore Time
Okay, so this one isn’t necessarily fun but aren’t chores more fun if you can evenly disperse the misery amongst your family members? Just kidding. Working out in the garden, washing the cars, or other alfresco chores are great ways to get up, get moving, and get a healthy dose of the outdoors.
#5) Family Field Days
Family field days are great. Spend Sunday or Saturday afternoons with the family at the park or in your backyard. Have a backyard softball, soccer, or volleyball game. It’s exercise disguised as fun.
You don’t even need to make it as structured as a softball game. Turn your backyard into a fantasy land for your little ones. Even just one simple sentence can add fun and lots of activity into your afternoon: “The ground is lava.” Boom. Instant activity.
#6) The Best Tip
The best tip is to really disguise that physical activity as a game. If you can challenge your kids not to step on any cracks on the sidewalk, they’ll take extra steps. If you take your kids kite flying on a “not-windy-just-kind-of-breezy” day, they’ll have to run to get that thing in the air. Instead of buying them a video game, get them soccer balls and basket balls. Buy dodgeballs. Mimic the recess ball bin at home.
#7) Show Them By Example
If your kids see you up and moving all of the time, they will be less likely to sit around and veg-out in front of the TV all day. Be a role model for your kids. No one wants to be a role model but it’s really pretty motivating and an ego boost. This little “mini you” wants to be just like you. So show your kids the best side of you.
Now it’s your turn. How do you exercise with your family? How do you get your kids up and moving? Do you get up and moving too?