Get Kids Moving
Despite the fact that the HOTY and I love to exercise, our daughter – the thespian! – isn’t so into it. Here is how our typical conversations go:
Us: Let’s go for a family hike!
Suddenly Seven: No thanks. I don’t feel like it.
Us: Why not? C’mon. It’ll be fun!
Suddenly Seven: I’d rather read.
Us: It’s not a choice. We are going.
Suddenly Seven: (voice over) mooooan and groaaaaan.
Suddenly Seven’s response has actually been quite baffling to the HOTY and me. So, what do I do when I don’t know what to do? I reach out for help!
My friend, chiropractor and personal trainer, Dr. Izzy Lira stepped up and offered some really awesome suggestions for getting kids to move. I’m super excited to share these helpful hints (& Silver Linings!) with you!
- Don’t make it feel like actual exercise
- Playing is exercise
- EDUCATE your child on the importance of exercise and how it impacts their health. Just as you educate them on the importance of brushing their teeth.
- Limit t.v. time to encourage/promote physical activity
- Figure out what interests the child has that may not be your typical sport (ie. dance, music, karate, theatre, etc.) and try to incorporate into an exercise routine.
- Get outdoors (park, beaches, trails, lakes, etc.)
- Invite a friend to get involved
- Sign them up for an activity (ie. yoga, archery, swimming)
- Be spontaneous. Breaking into a “dance party” in the middle of the kitchen when a certain song is played can make exercise fun!
- Get the entire family involved. Make it a routine (ie. every Saturday we as a family will devote time to physical activity. And allow the kid(s) to decide what activity the family will do from time to time. Give them some control and input.
- Use exercise in a positive light. Don’t EVER use exercise as a punishment
- Lead by example! (walk the walk)
- Start slow with a small window of 5-10 minutes to devote to exercising on a daily basis (ie. walking the dog) and then build on that foundation
- Work towards a challenge (ie. family 5K run/walk or better yet…a charity event)
- Reinforce with positive feedback & encouragement. Very important!!
- Use exercise as a break from exhaustive hours that kids spend on homework.
- Try to find an obstacle course or empty playground. Monkey bars are a great exercise to build strength. If you can’t find an obstacle course…make one. Cones can be very useful in creating various exercise stations (ie. jumping jacks, bear crawls, hula hoop, push ups, cone jumps) Do the stations for time; and encourage them to improve on their time. Competing with them could also make it fun for them.
- Keep trying various activities and see what works for the child.
- Most importantly…HAVE FUN WITH IT!!