You, Your Kids and Physical Health

We all know that many kids nowadays lack physical exercise. With the number of electronic gadgets, gaming systems and television channels, it’s no wonder that we have forgotten how to get up off the couch and get moving. It’s easy after a long day to just want to veg in front of the television (trust me, I’ve done it myself a number of times), but sometimes, if we make that tiny bit of effort, we will feel so much better when we get active. Same goes for our kids! But, as with most everything else, it must begin with us.

As moms, we have the responsibility to set an example for our children. I know that our schedules are often overflowing with appointments and other important things to do, but we have to remember that one of those important things is to spend quality time with our kids. The laundry and the dirty dishes will still be there in the morning… unfortunately.

Getting active doesn’t have to mean running for an hour or doing a hundred jumping jacks (unless you want to, of course). It can be as simply as just 15 minutes of getting up and moving! And if you share your active time with those you love, it will make it much more fun and create some pretty awesome memories in the process. If you just give it a try, you’ll find that often that 15 minutes just might turn into an hour.

To give you some inspiration, here are 10 ideas to get you going:

# 1 Go to the park. Kids love the park. All those giant toys just waiting to be climbed make for some pretty great adventures. And instead of sitting on a bench watching, why not have some fun with them and do some climbing too? There are so many fun games you can play at the park, like tag, hide and seek or follow the leader.

# 2 Go for a walk. What better way to get out and move than to go for a walk with your little ones. You get some fresh air and it’s a great time to have conversations with your kids.

# 3 Take in some local outdoor events. Check your local newspapers and your city’s website for some local events that might be happening outdoors. In winter, there might just be a winter carnival in your area (going up and down those snow slides is pretty good exercise… and tons of fun too). In summer, there are often some local fairs as well that you might like to take in.

# 4 Go for a swim. In the summer, if there is a beach nearby, pack a picnic and take the kids for an afternoon of fun in the sun. You can go for a swim and a nice long walk on the beach. And don’t forget to build a castle!

# 5 Go skating. In the winter, go for a skate at your local rink. Even better is to look for an outdoor rink, where you get the fun of skating and fresh air. That’ll make the kids sleep well at night (and mom too!).

# 6 Get the kids involved in a group activity. If you can, get your kids involved in a group activity, such as hockey, dance, swimming, gymnastics, baseball or soccer. There are so many great possibilities. It will teach your kids a variety of life skills, such as team work and goal setting, and it will be a great way for them to get some exercise.

# 7 Get out in the garden. Gardening is a form of exercise that has so many benefits besides the physical aspect of it. Growing a garden with your kids can be so rewarding and it might even get them eating veggies that you never thought they would touch. Knowing where food comes from is an important lesson to teach them as well. And when you grow your own food, at least you know where what you are eating is coming from. While you’re at it, why not try growing something different for the fun of it, like asparagus or brussels sprouts?

# 8 Get out your bikes. Biking is such a fun activity, I know that myself, I sure don’t take the time to do it enough. Go for a ride around the neighbourhood, or if you don’t feel it’s a safe place to bike, see if there is a trail nearby where you can drive to and go for a trail ride. And don’t forget your helmets!

# 9 Dance. That’s right, dance! Put on some music and dance around the living room with your kids. You can always hold a dancing contest with the whole family. What a great way to spend a Friday or Saturday night! You can always add some karaoke in there too and give your lungs a bit of a workout.

# 10 Invent a new game. Why not? Put all your heads together and come up with a fun, active and unique game for your family. It could become the next best invention!

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