As adults, it’s easy to make healthy choices and make fitness a priority. It turns out that making fitness a priority in your children’s lives may make them more likely to exercise when they grow up. Getting active with your children also sets a good example, can help teach sportsmanship, and help children feel more confident in their physical skills. It’s also a great way to enjoy time as a family, so check out the activities below and get going!
1. Take a walk, a ride or a hike.
A walk after dinner or walking with your children to school and other activities a few times a week is a simple way to slip in more activity. Take this opportunity to teach your children about traffic safety and how to safely cross streets. Bicycling is also an easy way to work activity into your daily routine. Cycle when running errands and ride to playdates and activities if possible. If cycling with younger children, parks with paved paths are a safe place to start.
Family hikes can be a fun way to get fit with your family, especially if your children are interested in the outdoors. Hiking is great for cardiovascular health and can even help build stronger bones. Look for safe places where children can explore and learn more about the world around them.
Talking with park or preserve staff beforehand can help you avoid slippery or otherwise dangerous areas, and toxic plants like poison ivy. If your children are old enough, see if your local park district or community center offers outdoor adventure classes you can take with your children to learn about outdoor safety. Hiking is also a hobby that children can easily stick with into adulthood. It can also open up a world of other outdoor activities, like kayaking, camping and rock climbing.
Check out our tips for beginner hikers for more information on hiking safely.
Roller, inline and ice skating are great activities to enjoy as a family and could help inspire children to take up related hobbies like figure skating or team sports like hockey. Skating is also an activity that children can enjoy on their own as they grow older and more independent. For just the cost of skates and protective gear, skating is an easy activity to start with children. Parks with paved paths are a great option for roller and inline skating when the weather is nice, just be sure to go during less crowded times of day with beginner skaters. Ice skating outdoors in the winter can be a magical, memorable activity for the whole family. When the temperature drops, check in with your local park district for places to skate. Make sure to teach children to skate only on bodies of water that have been designated as safe to skate.
Haven’t skated since you were a child? Pick up a pair of skates and practice before taking children out with you.
3. Have fun with some of your favorite childhood activities.
What activities did you enjoy as a child? Jumping rope and playing games like tag, capture the flag and hide and seek are fun fit activities you can do with little or no equipment in your own backyard or driveway. With a piece of sidewalk chalk and a ball, you can easily add hopscotch and games like four square.
Get a few neighbors together for a backyard game of kickball or have a good, old-fashioned water balloon fight.
You can also toss a football or baseball back and forth or shoot some baskets. If you enjoyed it as a child, chances are it’ll be a good experience to share with your own children!
Enjoy family time and keep yourself and your family fit and healthy by getting moving together. Whether it’s something simple like taking a walk, playing a favorite childhood game or doing activities like skating together, active activities can make for fantastic family experiences while helping teach your children healthy habits.
Sara Vallejo is a self-confessed happiness, health and self-development junkie from Chicago. She writes professionally in a business development and marketing capacity, and as a volunteer for a digital nonprofit. Miss Vallejo is a passionate mental and holistic health advocate who believes that good health is an ongoing journey best undertaken with supportive peers. Sara’s areas of expertise include nutrition, weight loss, women’s health, mental health and disability issues. She is returning to weight loss and fitness following orthopedic surgery and is excited to encourage and inspire fellow Azumio community members and readers to achieve the best health they can.
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