In this day and age of electronics and video games,
it can be challenging to keep kids active. With childhood obesity
on the rise, it's important to keep kids active and healthy. But
that doesn't mean that it can't be fun.
There are so many easy ways to get kids up and
moving that doesn't feel like "work." The important thing is
finding an activity that your child enjoys. If they don't enjoy an
activity, they won't be motivated to stick with it.
All kids have different personalities and things
they enjoy. Some kids prefer team sports while others prefer
individual sports. Some kids enjoy activities with structure while
others enjoy more free play. Whatever your child likes, there's so
many great options to keep them active and healthy.
Team sports are a great way to get kids active and
teach them team work. There are so many team sports out there. They
can usually be found at your local park district or school. Try
basketball, T-ball, baseball, soccer, football or
Even if you have to try out every sport until you
find one that your child enjoys, they are benefiting from the
physical aspects and what it means to be a team player.
Individual sports are a great way for children to
keep active especially if they prefer doing things on their own.
These sports are usually done with other children so they are still
getting the social aspect; they're just competing against
Some of these sports include running and cross
country, gymnastics, archery and karate. You might have to try out
a few different sports until your child finds one they enjoy, but
that's half the fun of it!
Playing outside is one of the best ways for a kid
to be active. As long as they are playing and moving, they are
being active. Instead of turning on the TV or video games right
after school, have your kids play outside.
Free play engages their imagination and social
skills. There are so many ways to play outside: throw a ball with a
friend, play tag, have races, kick a ball, go to the park, build a
snowman or go sledding.
Walking is a great activity not only for children,
but for the whole family. In the summer, we usually take a family
walk after dinner. If your kids are like mine, they're bored after
two minutes of walking so keep it fun. Collect interesting things
on the way: leaves, rocks, etc. Walk a new route that you've never
walked before. Count things on the way: how many red cars you see,
how many dogs or how many other people are outside.
Join a gym
Many gyms these days are catering more to children.
My son, who is 12, is a member of the gym that my husband and I
belong to. Most gyms will often provide an orientation so younger
children and teens know how to use the equipment correctly. There
are also a lot more group fitness classes geared toward children
Swimming is fun and it keeps you active. In the
summer, kids love to spend the afternoon swimming and playing at
the local pool. If you have access to an indoor pool, many offer
swim lessons during the winter.
An alternative to swimming would be to set up a
sprinkler in your yard. Running around the yard is fun and still
keeps your child active.
It's important to our children's health that they
be active and happy. Find a sport or activity that your child
enjoys, try out lots of different activities to make it fun or just
have your children play outside. A fun game of tag with mom and dad
can be active, fun and make great family memories.
Heather Holtz is a fitness and health enthusiast who lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and two boys. She blogs at Run Eat Play about fitness, food, and family.
See more of Heather's stories here.
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