Incorporating Kids into Your Exercise Routine

…without going out of your mind.

If you’ve got young kids, you may find it challenging to set an exercise routine and stick to it. You can’t leave the house without them and if you don’t have a sitter to watch your kids or you try exercising at home, then they run underfoot, begging for your attention.

If this sounds like you, you need some ideas on how to incorporate your kids into your daily exercises – rain or shine. After all, what better way is there to spend time with your children than teaching them the importance of good health?

On the Outside

When the weather permits, there are great ways to exercise with your kids outdoors. The most convenient might be to take a walk or run outside. For parents with toddlers, grab the stroller and head around the block a few times. Some strollers are made for running and kids love to feel the breeze and see the scenery fly by. If you have an infant, they usually love to be outdoors snuggling close in a baby carrier, while you go walking or hiking on a nearby trail.

Another great outdoor activity to do together is bike riding. This is something you can do with young or old kids. With young children, a wonderful piece of equipment for any family is a bike trailer. You can ride your bike at any speed and your children sit in the trailer enjoying the breeze. If your kids are old enough, you can each ride your own bike, developing your child’s confidence and well-being at the same time.

Some of the best exercise is child’s play!

During the hot summer months, if you have access to a swimming pool, take advantage! Water gives you a great chance for exercise also. Swimming is one of the best exercises for all shapes and sizes. If you don’t like to swim around, just chasing your kids around the water or walking in shallow water are better than nothing.

If you have older kids, take a trip to the neighborhood park for a game of basketball or tennis. Or get a group of kids and parents together and play a round or two of soccer or football. Besides being great exercise opportunities for everyone, these create great memories and bonding experiences for everyone involved.

Keep It In

When the weather is cold or rainy, you shouldn’t count exercise out. Instead, either get to the gym for some complimentary babysitting while you get your own workout time or try the following at home:

  • Dancing. One thing both kids and parents enjoy together is dancing. Turn up your favorite dance tunes and get moving! Enjoy yourself and let loose, and don’t worry about looking silly, because no one is watching! If you can’t really dance, then just do some repetitive aerobic moves in sync to the music.
  • Lifting. If you have toddlers, a great strength-building exercise is lifting. Lift your child up in the air as many times as you can. They love it and your body says “Thank you” with each lift. Then get on your back on the floor and place your child on your legs and lift your legs as high as you can. Repeat these moves a few times and you’ll start to feel the burn.
  • Watching. These days you can buy workout videos for you and your kids to do together. What kid doesn’t like watching a movie? Now you can get them off the sofa and start moving to the workout together.
  • Playing. An entertaining new workout for all ages is using the wii video games to get moving. With the wii system, you can play all kinds of sports, from tennis to baseball to bowling, in the comfort of your living room.

With these indoor and outdoor exercise ideas, your kids are no longer a good excuse to not work out. Now that your excuses are gone, how will you get fit?

Share This Article

Good Health Starts Young

Good nutrition in the early years is vital to a healthy life. So what are you feeding your kids?

DietYour children are the most precious gifts you’ll ever receive, so you should handle them with care. While you worked hard to give them the best breast milk or formula when they were tiny, you may be at a loss once they begin eating solid foods – especially if you have a picky eater on your hands.

To help your little ones have the best jumpstart on a healthy and happy life, it’s important that they get the same well-balanced diet that you’re getting – with some slight modifications. Here are a few things to keep in mind when feeding your young and hungry little ones.

1. Know the Basics

You know your child needs a solid foundation of healthy foods. What does that mean? It means plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein products. Childhood is the best time to develop a taste for whole and raw foods. With that in mind, give your child plenty of apple slices, carrots, and grapes. When your little one is in her littlest stages, go for applesauce and other baby foods that don’t have sugar or other flavor-changing additives. This way, your child learns to develop a taste for food the way nature intended, which just happens to be healthiest.

2. Believe in Your Child

One mistake when feeding your child is expecting him to have the same food preferences as you. So if you didn’t like broccoli or pinto beans as a child, you’re not going to feed your child those foods, because you don’t expect him to like them. However, while your son might have your dimples and sense of humor, he didn’t come with your taste buds. Encourage him to try a variety of healthy foods – including the ones you didn’t like as a child. Who knows? You may be pleasantly surprised to find out your finicky son likes asparagus.

3. Prepare the Options

Dinnertime should not be a battle zone. If your child simply won’t swallow her cherry tomatoes, don’t give up. Instead, be ready with another option. Swap a piece of whole grain toast for a cup of yogurt, or offer the choice of a green salad or a carrot salad. And avoid the temptation to force your child to eat every bite of every bit of food on her plate – especially if you know she hates a certain food. On the other hand, if your daughter is resisting a new food she’s never tried, it’s a good idea to require her to take a bite or two on occasion. And remember – taste buds change over time, so it’s okay to have your child taste something she’s not eaten in a while.

4. Train with Tricker

Sometimes, your son isn’t going to want to eat anything except cookies, butter popcorn, popsicles, and ice cream. You may want to throw your hands up in the air and give up on any hopes you had of having a healthy child. Don’t. Just be smarter than your child. How? By taking healthy foods and burying them in what he thinks is unhealthy. Make banana-nut muffin to feed his need for cupcakes, strawberry smoothies to answer his begging for a milkshake, and whole-grain pancakes – minus the whipped cream and chocolate syrup on top.

Helping your children turn into healthy adults starts today, so don’t waste any time giving your children the healthy start they deserve!

Resourceful Cooking

You’ve been cooking whole-wheat pancakes every morning and have made so many batches of ants on a log* that you’re starting to feel them crawling up your leg. Now your children are begging for something else to eat and you’ve run out of ideas. Fortunately, KidsHealth.org is here to save the day!

Loaded with fantastic, kid-friendly recipes, KidsHealth.org is a great place to turn when your cooking energies are depleted. On top of tips for you, there are recipes that your son or daughter can help with.

To get straight to the recipes, visit http://kidshealth.org/kid/recipes/index.html and get ready for some great cooking!

Share This Article