Having kids can really change your way of life, especially if you had a very active and healthy routine prior to bringing children into the mix. And although kids will bring some of the greatest joy to your days, they can also make simple tasks like working out and eating healthy much more difficult. But by deciding now to live a life filled with healthy bodies and healthy minds, you’ll save yourself and your kids from years of physical and emotional pain, not to mention the money it costs to visit medical professionals like dieticians and medical assistants when you have chronic physical problems.
While working out with children may seem dangerous or stressful, it can actually be very beneficial for both you as the parent and for the child. Not only will you be developing stronger relationships with one another, but you will also be building stronger bodies. For help on knowing how to exercise with your kids, here are three tips to get you started.
Rethink Your Idea of Exercise
As adults, we often think of exercising as lifting weights, running on the treadmill, or doing intense circuit training. However, being active and getting your body moving doesn’t have to fit into this little box that we assume exercising is. Aviva Patz of Parents.com explains that being healthy with kids is all about leading a healthier lifestyle, not spending hours at the gym each day.
Leading a healthier lifestyle can include many different things, like going for more walks, eating more fruits and veggies, and even drinking a few more glasses of water a day. All of these small changes will help ease your family into a healthy and active lifestyle that can be sustained throughout a lifetime.
Focus On the Three Elements of Fitness
For basic human fitness, KidsHealth.org states that there are three main elements to include in exercise: enduance, flexibility and strength. While you can probably think of exercises you can do as an adult that fall into each of these categories, it may be more difficult for you to think of activities that would be appropriate for children. However, you can get great ideas simply by looking at the elements of a typical children’s park.
At a park, you will generally find obstacles like monkey bars, swings, and big grass areas. These types of play activities will help with all three of the elements of fitness. Money bars help with building strength, swings help with flexibility, and big grass areas are perfect for running around to build endurance.
Be An Encouraging Example
It’s important for your kids to develop a healthy relationship with exercise and eating habits if you want them to cling to those ideals throughout their life. And to ensure this happens, it must start with you as the parent being an encouraging example to them.
A great example of this can be found in Lauren Rogers as reported by Dominique Mosbergen in the Huffington Post. This mother of two encourages her children to exercise with her as well as using them as part of her own exercises. Rogers explains that by allowing her children to actively participate in their own physical fitness, she hopes to show them that exercising can be fun and eating healthy foods can taste good, too. This mom is a great example of encouraging your children to follow your lead in living a healthy life.
As you can see, exercising with and around kids can be done. All it take is thinking about exercising a little differently, focusing on the core elements of physical fitness, and encouraging your kids to follow your example of a healthy life.