Keep Your Kids Active

Want your children to grow up to be healthy and happy adults? Show them how much fun active living can be while they’re young. Here’s how.

Watch TV actively. We usually sit when we’re watching TV. Encourage kids to dance to the tunes and act out the actions they’re watching. Show them how to stretch during commercials.

Go on errands. Walking around the supermarket can take a long time. Even though this may pose other challenges (such as negotiating out of a sweet snack), you can be sure they are walking and moving rather than watching TV or sitting and focusing on their electronic devices.

Walk around the block. When you pull into your driveway after a long ride, tell your child you saw something interesting down the road, or you want to smell the fresh air and enjoy the sunset. Don’t enter the house and instead urge them to come with you for a quick swing around the block. Go for as long as your child is willing. Every time you walk with them, stretch it out a bit longer, but make sure it doesn’t become a burden. Keep it light, fun, and simple.

Dance for fun. Turn on energetic music and dance with them. This could be a good thing for antsy kids to do as you’re preparing dinner.

Laugh. Whatever you do with your child, incorporate laughter into it. Laughing keep the body moving, it works our lungs, and can be thought about as internal exercise for our body. And it brings in positive energy to everything you do.

Let them be. If the kids are running around or kicking a ball, let them. Even if you’d rather they do something else, let them play at the playground for a few minutes or more after school. Don’t make them walk next to you all the time, let them race to the tree and back. Let them jump a bush. Let them do something active whenever they want t0 – they won’t think of running, climbing, dancing and jumping as exercise, just fun.

 Let them show off. Whenever they are ready to show you skills they’ve learned, encourage them. Seize the moment and ask them to demonstrate, not just discuss it.

Stretch in bed. When winding down after a long day or getting ready for a new day to begin, cuddle in bed and stretch together. Legs up, feet flexed and pointed, hands to knees, sitting and lying back down. Talk about how the day was and what the day will bring all the while relaxing and flexing your bodies together.

Running in circles. Often, when I go on a walk or to the mall with my children, they like to run ahead. I let them run and when they get to a certain point, they turn around and run back to me. It becomes a sort of game, I don’t have to run after them, and we keep eye contact and in the same pace.



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