Do you have to poke and prod to drag your kids off the couch and away from their devices? Most parents have been in that boat. But if kids aren’t physically active at least three times a week, they will have astronomical healthcare bills when they’re adults. And overweight kids have a 70 percent chance of becoming obese adults. I don’t want that for my family, so we’ve made a purposeful shift from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one.
4 Healthy Activities to Bolster Family Relationships
Getting my kids out and moving has not only brought us closer together, but it’s also helped us bond with our neighbors. I’ll be outside kicking the ball around with my kids, and before I know it, several neighbor kids join in for an impromptu soccer game.
Exercising together has created better communication among me and my children. My kids were used to me shouting from the sidelines of a game; now, we work together for a common goal. Whether it’s a planned activity or just playing on the beach, there are so many ways to get fit and build familial relationships:
1. Hit the gym. Older children are increasingly joining their parents at the gym to get in a good workout. This is a great opportunity to build a “workout buddy” relationship with your child while teaching him or her the ropes of workout machines and exercises.
2. Do a fun run or nature walk. Kids make excellent running buddies — if you can keep up. Pick from a variety of themed races, train for it in the weeks leading up to the event, and you will have the shared experience of finishing a race together. Younger children may prefer a nature walk over a run. Either way, getting out and moving is a phenomenal stress reliever and will strengthen the relationships you have with your kids.
3. Visit fun attractions. There seems to be a growing number of places where parents and kids can play together and get fit in a fun environment. Indoor trampoline parks, roller rinks, and pools are a few ways you can mix it up so one activity doesn’t get boring.
4. Just play. You might think, “Duh,” but by simply adding a new activity, you can bolster family rapport. Your crew might be land-lovers, so find something fun to do in the great outdoors. My family loves swimming. We find the nearest pool or body of water and play water games, volleyball, or other water-related activities.
It’s time to stop making excuses and jump in with both feet! Get up and get out with your kids — you’ll be amazed by how much closer you are and how much better you feel.