4 ways you and the kids can get fit together
Written by Aidan Whitehurst
Exercise. It’s the Rubik’s cube of our generation isn’t it? There always seems to be something more pressing to do, especially when there are kids in the picture. Sometimes it can feel like the only physical activity we get is the exasperated arm waving that accompanies telling one of your little cherubs that they cannot, in fact, have cake for breakfast. Again.
All jokes aside. Regular exercise comes with a whole host of physical and mental benefits, not the least of which is stress relief, for not only us but our children too. Children who engage in regular physical activity have be shown to be more confident, have better motor skills and be more accomplished socially than those who don’t. So, with that in mind, here are a few ways that you can all get fit together.
1. Bike Riding
It seems like every family has at least one bike that sits in the garage and gathers dust (and even if you don’t, you can usually pick one up second hand for a decent price). So why not get it out and go for a ride? Cycling is a great activity for both kids and adults for several reasons. It is low impact, reducing strain on joints and muscles, good for cardiovascular health and works most muscles in your lower body. Plus, you get to go outside and see the sights!
Exer-what-now? Exergaming is the act of playing video games that involve exercise. When Wii sports was released in 2006 it made quite the splash and with good reason. It, and games like it, provide a great way to exercise while at home. What’s more, they can be played with multiple people, which brings elements of cooperation and competition into the mix. There are games available that cover Olympic Sports, running, dancing and a whole host of other types of exercise. While the motion controls can sometimes be a pain to work with, exergaming is still a fun and engaging activity that’s worth trying with the family.
Kids seem to have unending amounts of energy and sufficiently tiring them out can at times be a fool’s errand. So why not use that to your advantage and have you both break a sweat? There are many different games that you can play with your children. Capture the flag, wheelbarrow races and jump rope are all examples of games that provide great cardiovascular and cognitive benefits. The VeryWellFamily website also lists a host of different active games you can play if you need ideas!
4. Family fitness classes
Finally, there’s family-based fitness classes. There are a number of gyms that focus predominantly on classes that children and adults can participate in together. Dance, core strength, cardio and gymnastics are just some of the things you can do. Having to shell out the additional money for classes isn’t ideal but if you’ve got enough spare then it is definitely worth having the structure and additional expertise that comes with having qualified fitness instructors work with you.
So, there you have it. A few ways that you and your children can exercise together. There are, of course, many additional ways to lead a more active, healthy lifestyle and the important thing to remember is to never stop trying. Even if it’s just walking to school or running around the garden a couple of times a week, a little is always better than nothing and a little can progress to a lot.