Today childhood obesity is a major concern among parents and the medical community. This generation of kids is less active and more obese than any generation before.
Wouldn't it be great if your kids naturally enjoyed exercise? If this were the case, childhood obesity wouldn't be the looming problem that it is.
As adults, we exercise to improve health, stay fit, and control weight. But what motivates a child to be physically active? Fun. Ultimately, if children and adults enjoy an activity, they're more likely to stick with it.
As you know, an inactive child has a greater chance of becoming an inactive adult. Healthy habits have to be instilled early in life. And it's never too early to start.
What better way to get your kids moving than to find a fun exercise activity your whole family can enjoy? Your family will not only be healthier and trimmer, but will spend quality time connecting and set habits that may last a lifetime.
Just remember that exercising as a family won't look like your typical workout. Here are some fun, creative ways to incorporate exercise into the life of your family.
Make Chore Time Fun Time
Let's face it: chores and kids don't mix. Not willingly at least. Chores and fun don't usually mix, either. How can you combine chores with fitness while making it fun at the same time?
Turn up your family's favorite tunes and sing and dance while cleaning the house. Let the kids take turns choosing the music. All ages can be involved. The youngest can pick up toys or sweep the floors. The older kids can vacuum, dust, and help with laundry.
While you're at it, turn chores into a competition. Who can clean his or her room the fastest? (Without stuffing everything in the closet.)
Want a little more wiggle in your family exercise routine? Invite the kids' friends over for a dance party. Move the furniture out of the way, turn down the lights, and turn up the tunes! Then get moving.
Kids will have a great time with this. If you have an Xbox dance game, take turns in dance competition.
Family Fitness Nights
Family fun night is often spent sitting around watching a movie or playing a board game. How can you turn family nights into fitness nights?
Go on a bike ride together. Head to a nearby trail in the woods and go on a hike. Invite another family to join you and organize a soccer game, whiffleball tournament, or relay races. Set up a badminton net in the backyard.
If there's snow on the ground, get out the sleds and head to a nearby hill. What about roller-skating as a family? Now there's a fun family workout! Let each family member take turns choosing which activity to do on family nights, but keep the nights focused on fun fitness.
Hire a Personal Trainer
Each person has different fitness needs and goals. A personal trainer can help design a workout program for each family member.
A great way to stay motivated as a family to keep exercising is to track individual progress. If one family member needs to lose weight and another is trying to bench press heavier weight, track both of their progress and encourage them along the way.
You can also have all family members wear a pedometer and reward the person with the most steps, or choose an exercise of the month. Good choices are squats, lunges, sit-ups, push-ups, or jump rope. At the beginning of the month, each family member must perform his or her maximum number of repetitions. After a month of training, the person with the highest percentage of improvement gets a small reward.
Keep progress at the forefront with a chart on your refrigerator to track your family's fitness goals.
A Way of Life
When fitness is incorporated into everyday life, it won't become a drag or another thing to fit into your already busy schedule. Set aside just an hour two to three times a week to get moving as a family. Your kids will have fun and learn valuable life lessons.
Editor’s Note: Detroiter Sterling Wise launched his personal fitness company, The Wise Decision, in 2007. If you would like to learn more about the fitness coach and motivator visit: www.thewisedecision.com