Making Fitness a Family Affair

With childhood obesity and Childhood Type 2 Diabetes at an all-time high it is more important than ever to establish a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced nutritional plan and plenty of physical activity from a young age. One way to do this is by getting the entire family in on the action.

Play and Exercise go Hand in Hand

Young children love to run, jump, and tumble until they collapse. For them it is all exploration and play time. Although when living in a small apartment, or in areas where several months out of the year there is snow on the ground this can sometimes be challenging to provide your child with enough room to burn their exuberant energy regularly. The best way to overcome these inconvenient obstacles is to create a safe indoor play area, even if it is a small area, where your child can jump, bounce, and tumble without worry of getting hurt or bumping something over.

Get your Little Ones off the Sofa

The phrase, “TV babysitter” has never been more prevalent than it is today. With so many ways to watch movies, videos, and TV, it can be a challenge to get your child to unplug. It can also be tempting to let your active child sit quietly in front of their favorite program for hours so that you can get some things done. Don’t. This instills bad habits in your child and could have many negative health affects in the long run. Instead take advantage of your child’s desire to be a good helper.

Even housework is an opportunity to exercise. Pull out that old mop or broom and let your child help with the sweeping. You may need to go over it after they are done, but in the mean time you are creating a bonding time with your child and encouraging your child to stay moving. The simple action of pushing and pulling the mop or broom works your child’s fine motor skills, and strengthens balance muscles improving their balance and coordination.

Turn your Workout into a Kid Friendly Play Workout

Kids love to have their parent’s attention and interaction; let your exercise time be one of those opportunities. Include things like Burpees, or Bear Crawls in your family workout. The names alone will have your child giggling, but the movements will work your child’s cardio while developing a happy connection to the action of working out. When you exercise

and do physical activities in a positive manner with your child you establish a mental link between these activities and happy family times. This will carry forward with your child as they grow and instill a fondness for doing these activities.

Our opinions and likes or dislikes towards health and fitness start at a very young age. So take the time to turn your workout into a family bonding activity. By making fitness seem like play and creating a designated safe active play area in your home you will start your child on a health conscious path that will last throughout their life.