In today’s world of electronics, exercise may mean being quick on the game controller, developing quick reflexes, hand strength and flexibility. You don’t have to be versed in good health to realize that’s not the type of exercise that helps anyone become healthier. It does make it tougher to get your kids to exercise, though. In Commack, NY, there are loads of activities that can help boost exercise time and ones that don’t require Olympic devotion or skill to do. They’re just plain fun for the whole family and that’s the key.
The family that plays together, stays together.
While I’m not saying you should eliminate Uno or Monopoly from game night or any other board games, I am saying you need to include some games that are more active and boost endurance, flexibility, strength and balance. You don’t have to go outside for many of these games, you can create ones you play inside, too. For younger children doing an animal walk is good, which involves naming the type of animal, like an elephant and letting your children portray them. Ninja War may sound a bit dangerous, but it’s all about striking a pose and avoiding getting your hand hit. Simple things like mimicking an inch worm, lady bug or animal can use strength or flexibility exercises.
Get your kids to workout with you.
You’ll be amazed at how much kids like to do grown up things and how it’s even more attractive when you say it’s for grownups, but let them do one or two exercises, just to give them a taste of it. Rather than pushing your kids into working, be reluctant to let them join you until they beg. Don’t expect to get your normal workout done, since they’ll giggle and maybe even have fun with the balance ball that isn’t part of the plan. You’ll get them started with the right attitude, too.
Check the great outdoors for some ideas.
Whether it’s hiking, camping or walking a massive amusement park, it’s all good family fun. Buy family bikes and start pedaling for picnics. Go to parks for long hikes and lunch. Make those lunches healthy for a double whammy of benefit. Rather than buying the latest video game, get your child a pair of rollerblades and some for yourself. A hula hoop is an inexpensive item and getting them for the whole family for fun, outside or inside if you have a big room, counts as healthy exercise.
- Look through the eyes of a child for activities that involve moving, creativity and fun. Hiding from the monster can mean popping up and doing squats right away to hide. Then moving in squat position—duck walking—to another area. It boosts the imagination and fitness.
- Exercise can involve education. Walking through a museum, a wildlife preserve or botanical garden provides an opportunity for both fitness and education.
- Turn on the music and enjoy dancing with the kids. Make it fast music for more fun. You can also make chores more appealing by adding music and dance movements.
- Mix it up and have a wide variety of things to do to keep active. Giving every family member a chance to pick an activity is important. You might end up learning new things from rock climbing to laser tag. The key is making it fun.