One of my coworkers was complaining about her inability to consistently exercise due to time constraints with her full-time job and responsibilities with her children. Now I completely understand the time limitations, but it got me thinking about ways to engage in physical activity while spending time with your kids. Yes, you can be active with your kids.
After all, even small amounts of exercise can be beneficial and is certainly better than not exercising at all. Plus, with childhood obesity so high in the United States, this activity will benefit them as well.
Here are some of my ideas to be active with your kids:
Find opportunities in your town that involve physical activities.
Instead of going to the movies or the arcade, find indoor jump facilities or climbing walls, for example.
If you have a dog, walk it outside with your kids.
Pets are often unrecognized sources of exercise for families, and the kids and pets will have fun too.
Instead of just watching them while they play on the playground, play with them.
Climb the ladders, go down the slides, and swing next to them. Tweet this tip.
Play a game that involves real exercise.
Go outside and play tag. Or play a sport like basketball or soccer.
Include their friends.
Kids love to hang out with their friends, so let them invite a friend along for a bike ride or trip to the pool.
Choose exergames over traditional video games.
While it might not be as good as traditional exercise, video game systems that involve human movement, like the Wii and the Kinect, can make kids and adults sweat and burn calories. Choose games that involve sports or dancing, and make it a friendly competition.
Walk as much as possible.
Park toward the back of parking lots. Walk to friends’ houses or stores and restaurants whenever possible.
Make it fun.
Start slowly and add in new activities. Join in the fun with your kids, and you might create a positive impact on their health.
I want to hear more suggestions from all of you! What other ways can busy parents spend time with their children and get exercise at the same time? Share them in the comments below! Here are some thoughts readers shared on Facebook and Twitter:
I would suggest padlocking the beer fridge give the key to the kids send them outside and say lets play chase.
Mary D Wood
Riding bikes together, hiking, family picnic with a little touch football, walking to nearest ice cream parlor, roller skating, and shooting hoops are all favorites in our home.
@DrDavidGeier My 5yr old daughter & I go to yoga together. She feels like a big girl & I don’t have to pay for a sitter!
@DrDavidGeier most of the times kids are being told what to do how to do it. Maybe just ask the kids what they want to do. #movetogether
@DrDavidGeier we play grasshopper@home,jumping double footed onto a small box then onto the sofa, building plyo strength with my 4 & 7 y/o!
@DrDavidGeier so hard as a working parent, but if you do everything with them you can kill 2 birds w/1 stone:family time and exercise.