Parents need to engage in regular physical activity, not only for their own health, but for their children’s benefit, as well. Children learn by example. Let your children know that you enjoy exercising because it's an important part of a healthy lifestyle, it helps you get stronger and gives you more energy, which helps make you look and feel better about yourself.
It can be difficult for parents to fit exercise into their family’s busy schedules. With a little planning and creativity, however, you can find ways to exercise with your children. Listed below are some simple ways you can exercise with your children:
Infant through Preschool Aged Children
- Grab the stroller and go for a brisk walk with your children. You could also purchase a jogging stroller, which allows you to walk faster, jog, or run at a fast pace while pushing the stroller.
- Use a back carrier to transport young children. Carrying the added weight can help burn extra calories as you walk.
- If your child is walking, take a leisurely stroll around the block or at a nearby park. Remember to limit the distance; little legs can tire quickly.
- Turn on some lively music and dance with your children.
- Use an infant carrier or bike trailer to go on a bike ride with your children.
Grade School Aged Children
- Try in-line skating or skating. Be sure that everyone is equipped with helmets and protective gear.
- Spend an afternoon at the park or playground. Bring along a flying disc or football so that you and your children can play together.
- Play a game of catch or kickball in your backyard.
- Go for a hike in the forest or bicycle ride on a nearby nature trail.
- Let your children help you in the yard. They can help you dig holes, plant flowers, and rake leaves.
- Go for a walk with your children after dinner each night.
- Purchase a family membership at a local health club and work out together several days each week.
- Play tennis, golf or basketball with your children.
- Register your family for a run or walk event in your area. You can also train together before the event.
- Join a community volleyball or softball team that is open to teens and adults.