Being fit and active is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. The earlier we teach our kids about the positive aspects of regular exercise, the more it will become a part of their everyday lives, from childhood to adulthood. These days, there is so much technology, be it video games, TV, or smartphones, that moving our bodies often comes in second to sitting on the couch. Let’s get our kids (and ourselves) moving! Here are some ways to teach kids about fitness and some fun ways to get our bodies in shape.
Kids like to show how strong they are as they get older. “Look mom, I can lift this big box!” But just because kids grow and get bigger, it doesn’t mean they are getting in good shape. Teach kids about the importance of building strong muscles at an early age. This goes for both girls and boys. No, they do not need to lift heavy weights or put stress on their bodies, but kids can build muscles through fun exercises. Strong muscles protect our bones and help us move our bodies properly. Kids can toss a ball back and forth to build coordination and muscle tone. Tug-of-war seems like a game, but it actually builds strength. Kids can do sit-ups, chin-ups, and push-ups for toning and strength. As kids get into their teens, they may want to try weight lifting while supervised. The earlier kids get into building their muscles, the more they will want to keep at it as they develop.
Exercises like jogging, rowing, jumping rope, swimming, and even dancing are aerobic exercises. They help increase the heart rate and stamina. Teaching kids to get out and get their heart rate up is vital to their health as they develop. Too much sitting around can cause weight gain, health issues, and plain old laziness. This will only get worse as kids get older if they don’t have the desire to get out and move while they are young. Kids love to play, so there are lots of ways to get in that important aerobic exercise every day. Go to the park or local gym and play with your child if and whenever you can. Seeing you work up a sweat is inspirational. Get together with other parents and kids from school or daycare for a day of outdoor activities.
Resting is as important as exercise. Teach your kids that in order to function well, they need adequate rest. If their muscles are sore, take a day off from certain activities. If they are not feeling well, stay out of the pool that afternoon. If kids understand that they will be able to play or perform activities better with proper rest, perhaps you won’t have those bedtime battles anymore!
What do you do to teach kids about fitness? We’d love to hear your suggestions. For more info like this, please visit All My Children Daycare.
By: Melissa A. Kay