Physical activity is essential for kids because it helps them grow strong bones and muscles, learn to balance and coordinate their bodies, lose weight (if they need to), and keep from gaining weight as they get older. Physical activity also increases their energy levels, improves their moods, makes them feel better about themselves, and helps them deal with stress better. Most importantly, it provides an opportunity for kids to have fun.
But exercise is important for adults, too. Let's look at some activities you can do with your kids that will keep the whole family healthy and happy.
Bike riding is a great way to get exercise, spend time together, and bond as a family. Biking can be an enjoyable experience for the whole family, especially if you make it into something game-like by trying to see who can find the most interesting or beautiful things along the way (e.g., flowers in bloom).
Biking is a healthy activity, too. Biking can help improve your child's coordination, strength, and endurance while burning calories. It helps develop their motor skills. Riding a bike requires coordination between their arms and legs, so it helps kids develop their motor skills as they learn new movements and balance skills.
It's a great way to get active after school or work. It doesn't matter what time of year or what season it is; biking is fun at any time of day. Don't forget to wear a helmet.
Play backyard sports and games with your kids.
There's nothing like playing a sport or a game with your kids to get them moving and having fun. Sports are great for all ages, and there are many different types from which to choose. Ones you can play in your backyard include:
• Baseball/Wiffle ball
• Hide and seek
If your kids love flying kites, this is another great backyard activity that will help them get outside while providing them with exercise and fresh air at the same time. All you need is a kite and string, preferably on a day with strong winds so the kite will lift high into the air when you fly it.
Hike, canoe, or go to the beach
Take your kids outside. Hiking, canoeing, and going to the beach are great ways to stay active as a family. Don't over-plan or over-schedule things; keep it simple and have fun. Take runs and brisk walks along the beach. Tackle a new mountain trail each weekend. Once you've exhausted the ones in your area, take a road trip to a state park with lots of trails and canoeing. Hiking is excellent exercise and a chance to spend time in nature.
Do yard work together
One of the best ways to keep your kids active is by doing yard work together. You can teach them how to take care of a home while getting a workout. Here are some ideas for activities you can do with them:
• Mow the lawn
• Weed the garden
• Rake leaves
• Pick up litter
• Plant a garden together
Make it competitive. Set up a contest between yourself and the kids to see who can rake the most leaves or trim the highest hedge in a set amount of time. Make sure they understand that safety comes first, but once they've got that down, let them loose.
Jump rope or hula hoop
Jump rope is a great way to get kids moving. It's an inexpensive, portable exercise that improves stamina and coordination, as well as increases strength in the lower body. Make sure you get in on the action by jump-roping, too. Jumping rope isn't just for kids; it's a phenomenal exercise for adults, too.
The best part about jump ropes? They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and materials. Whether you're looking for something basic or something fancy enough for professional athletes, there's bound to be something that works for your needs.
Hula hooping is another exercise that kids love, and adults can benefit, too. When you gyrate your body to keep the hula hoop from dropping, you're working your core muscles, the muscles that generate power, and lowering your risk of back pain. Hula hoops are inexpensive and widely available. Why not give hooping a try?
Physical activity is so important for kids -- and the whole family
Physical activity is so important for everyone! Exercise can help kids develop strong bones and muscles, feel more energetic, sleep better at night, and have more fun. It also helps them develop coordination, control, flexibility, and balance.
Exercise also helps kids build self-esteem by making them feel strong and capable. When they feel good about themselves, they are more likely to make smart choices that will help them be healthier later in life. So, why not try some of these activities with your own kids? Everyone will benefit.