As a society today, we are spending a lot more time in front of screens. The television (Netflix, anyone?), computers, smart phones, tablets, kindles. It doesn’t seem to leave a lot of time for physical activities. It seems that with school hours, after school activities, and all that screen time- there doesn’t seem to be a lot of time left for any sort of exercise.
So, what are we do to as parents?
Well, first we need to set the example. Are we active? Or, do we just plop down in front of the television or computer? We need to be role models for our children, because children tend to mimic our behaviors- good or bad.
There are some things that we can do about it, that will have the added bonus of giving us extra family time.
1.) Go to the park. Swing on the swings together, or go down the slide. Chase each other around the playground. Play tag.
2.) Go for walks together in the morning, or after dinner. This also gives the added benefit of more time for talking about your day or anything that might be on anyone’s mind.
3.) Do yard-work together. Anyone who has ever raked leaves or mowed a lawn can attest to what a workout that is! You’ll also be able to bond together while doing it. Afterwards, you can treat yourselves to a yummy treat!
4.) Dance together! Play the Wii Dance game and see who wins. (Full body dancing- no cheating with just the remote.) Don’t have a Wii? Turn on the radio and just dance. Or, play freeze dance.
5.) Get fitness dvd’s and do them together. Is there a move that hard to do or feels silly? See if you can’t conquer those moves together!
6.) Play a sport game together. Touch football in the front yard. Basketball in the driveway.
7.) See how fast you can get chores done around the house. Set a timer and offer a prize for the one that finishes the fastest (but still does a decent job). Double bonus there! Exercise AND a clean house!
8.) Do yoga together. You can get a book at the library or a DVD. You can take a class together and get a cup of tea or a smoothie after.
It’s important that kids see what a healthy life looks like, so that they are prepared for when they move out on their own. The habits that you helped create will be able to help them remain healthy and will even go beyond your children into the next generation.