Fitness. The word makes you think of toned limbs, strong muscles and the ability to hike a mountain without panting the last three quarters of the trek. Unfortunately, this also may come with flushed cheeks, perspiration and a certain amount of fatigue afterwards. So, how do you get your children to understand the importance of fitness when sometimes you feel too tired after work to do any sort of exercise? You have to remember that children enjoy being active and that doing new things keeps them wide-eyed and engaged. That is the key to getting your family fit, making it fun.
How do you make fitness fun? Start with recognizing the activities that may give you a workout; basically, anything that may make you pant or makes your muscles sore afterwards. This doesn’t mean that you have to take your child running, teach them how to lift weights or bring them to your Pilates class. There are several activities that your family can do together that are fun and fitness worthy. Give these a try…
Almost every major muscle group in your body is used when bowling, which is over 100 muscles. Children don’t realize that they are building the muscles in their arms when they repeatedly lift those seven- or eight-pound balls and then throw them down the alley. They see themselves as stepping up to a challenge, learning a new game and maybe getting a higher score than their sibling, friend or even themselves from a previous game.
Have you ever watched children play at a playground? They can run in circles and figure eights around playground equipment without getting bored. You can join the chase or you can watch from the swings, which will give your abs a workout. The monkey bars work your shoulders, biceps, forearms, abs and obliques. Enjoy crossing the monkey bars with your child. Don’t touch the ground! It’s lava.
Riding your bicycle doesn’t only work your legs, but your core and arms as well. It improves your cardio and overall fitness. The best way to get your family to go for a bike ride is to choose a destination that would be rewarding. Instead of riding around the neighborhood block you could ride to the frozen yogurt store or to the park.
Hiking is great for your calves, thighs and glutes. A hike that ends at a waterfall, river or lake is always a great choice because you can cool off and children love to play in water. As you take your hike you can play games or teach your child about the things that they see; birds, flowers, trees, smaller animals. Get more tips on creating fun hikes for kids.
Not sure where to go hiking in your area? Local Hikes is a fantastic website where you can find local trails by ZIP code, greater metro area or even by your favorite National Park.
The best thing about catch is that you can play it just about anywhere. You can play catch with two or more people. As an incentive to play this game, the player with the most catches gets to choose dinner! To add even more playful fun to this family activity, the winner gets to create the dinner they want using ZisBoomBah’s online game Pick Chow!