Family Fitness: Exercising With Your Child
Focusing on physical fitness at a young age is a foundational step in encouraging a life-long enjoyment of physical activity. The benefits of family exercise are endless. At Lionheart Children’s Academy, we encourage healthy habits and family bonding experiences. We’re here to help you learn new and fun ways to exercise together as a family. We understand most families have so many commitments that it’s challenging to include physical activities. We’re here to help you find easy, fun ways to exercise together.
The Importance of Family Fitness
Building healthy habits at a young age helps children learn that it’s a part of their life. One of the most incredible things about family fitness is that you get to enjoy time together. School, work, and extracurricular activities make it challenging to fit in needed family time. Being active together means strengthening your family bonds and having that extra time for your child’s emotional and social development.
What Are the Benefits Of Exercising With Family?
Some of the many benefits to family exercise include:
- Establishes lifelong healthy habits
- Bonding time together
- Improves the mood of the entire family
- Change perception of fitness from fear to fun
- Build teamwork skills
- Promotes physical health for all ages
Whether hot or cold, you can always find something to do with the family outdoors. If there’s snow on the ground, enjoy a wild snowball fight or a sled ride. If the sun is shining, play in the sprinklers or have a friendly flag football game. Family outdoor activities can be as simple as walking around the neighborhood or flying a kite in a nearby field. If your family loves fresh vegetables, work in the garden together. Getting outside helps the whole family get fresh air, boost physical activity levels, and provides bonding time together.
Take Time to Play
You might think you have no time in the week to play, but you can make time. Set aside 30 minutes a few times a week to play with the kids. Make it a priority, just like any of the other activities on your calendar. You can play tag, hide-and-seek, or kick a ball in the yard. You can plan a fun family activity during the weekend, like going to the playground or going on a short hike. The most important thing to take away from this is that you schedule time even when you don’t think you have any left. You always have a few minutes to spare to take time to play.
Turn Off The Screens
Sitting in front of screens isn’t going to get anyone up and active. Find time to get active by turning off the television, smartphones, and computers. Give kids a set time to play and watch each week. After that time is up, they should do something active. From chores to playing outside, anything that keeps them away from screen time counts. Sedentary activities should always be done in small increments to allow more time for movement.
Keep It Simple
You don’t need to do something over-the-top to stay fit as a family. Staying fit as a family means being together and doing things that boost your heart rate. It doesn’t mean you need to run a marathon together every month. Have fun and keep it simple.
Let The Kids Take Charge
If you want a laugh when being active as a family, let the kids take charge of the activities. They won’t often choose a family hike or bike ride. They might want to build a fort, climb a tree, play hopscotch, or run around playing tag. It’s always refreshing to see fitness from a different viewpoint. A few hours on a playground can be as challenging as a few hours at the gym.
Walk If You Can
Use your muscle power by walking everywhere possible. If your child’s school or sports practice is nearby, use your legs to get there. Make it a game to see how many places you can walk each week. You’ll save gas and boost your energy.
Have A Dance Party
There is nothing that gets you moving like dancing. Turn up the music and dance. You can even add a disco ball for fun. The kids love the freeze dance song! Dancing is an easy and fast way to get the blood pumping and have a great time. You won’t even notice you’re staying fit while having such a great time.
Play Follow the Leader
Even your youngest child should know all about “Follow The Leader.” This is a fun and exciting game that involves letting the leaders take you through a series of exercises. They could make you walk around the block, skip across the driveway, or crab walk through the grass. It will be a blast taking turns as the “coach” leads their “athletes” through funny exercises.
Make an Activity List Together
Sit down with your family to determine the most fun ways to stay active together. Tell everyone to contribute to the list. One person may want to walk to the park, while another person may think it’s fun to shoot hoops. The silly ideas are just as much fun as the serious ideas. Kids get excited about scheduling set aside time to play with their parents and siblings.
Take It To The Water
The water isn’t only for swimming. You can do multiple types of fitness activities in the water. Whether your kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing, or waterskiing, you’re working almost every part of your body while having a great time. Swimming is a wonderful way to burn energy without thinking about it.
Plan Active Family Events
If your family usually gets together with a bigger extended family, turn it into an active time. Plan fun games like laser tag or yard games. Tell everyone it’s time for a dance party. At holiday gatherings, turn off the television and take a walk after the big meal. It’s fun to make family gatherings unique and different with movement.
Make Chores A Game
Most kids hate chores. Make it fun and active by turning them into a game. Vacuuming becomes chasing dust aliens away, and cleaning up the floor becomes saving the toys from burning lava. Set timers and see who can clean the fastest. These silly activities boost your heart rate with a little friendly competition.
Visit Lionheart Children’s Academy
Lionheart Children’s Academy believes in family and fitness together. We love watching our children grow and learn through play and activity. We always make time for physical activity and fun from our everyday preschool activities to our summer field trips. Children learn through social skills, curriculum, and play with a healthy dose of fitness. Our fully-licensed learning academy promotes health and movement for the entire family. We’re committed to your children’s growth and success in life. Contact us today to learn more about our premier preschool and child care services.