Whether you are fitness fanatic or not so much, guiding your little one towards a love of being active can be simple and fun. Give them a head start towards becoming a happy and confident person. Here are a few more ways to spend quality time as a family, while growing active kids. Because every mom knows that active kids are happier kids.
Four Tips to Foster Active Kids
- Hit the gym at home. Although it is important to take time for yourself, utilizing exercise space at home is a great way for your child to see activity on a regular basis. Working out at home creates a clear connection between exercise and daily life. Exercise becomes just as important to them as brushing their teeth or eating breakfast. Stretching, a core workout, and simple band or weight exercises are easy and efficient ways to workout at home. Give your little mini-me a sweatband and an exercise band, and watch them workout just like you. Babies love giving high fives during a sit-up routine.
- Verbalize how you feel about exercise and sports. Our kids learn by watching, but as they expand their vocabulary, they hinge on our every word. Verbalizing your thoughts and feelings regarding exercise only further emphasizes for them that exercise is positive. Simply tell your child how good you feel after a run, walk or sporting event. Ask them if they like feeling tired after a good play at the park or a nice bike ride? By hearing these simple comments and questions on a daily basis, kids will subconsciously create a positive relationship with exercise. They will soon be aware of the happy feeling that accompanies fitness. This is one key towards promoting lifelong physical fitness.
- They can do it too. We all know it is easier to hit the pavement with only a rockin’ playlist to accompany us, but finding a way to bring your child along is one more means of demonstrating to them how activity is important in life. Toddlers can even begin to ride a bike with you on a short run. Try taking your stroller or backpack on a hike or run; encourage your toddler to run/walk small portions all by themselves. They will love expending a quick burst of energy (with due praise of course) and will then enjoy a nice rest.
- Try new things together. Show your little shadow that you are okay with trying new things as you step out of your comfort zone. Take an introductory course on climbing, karate, or even parent and child yoga. It can be as simple as trying to swing on the monkey bars or complete a few chin-ups while at the park. Your child will see you in a whole new light as you swing (and struggle) as they do. This is a great way to discover something healthy and new together.
Exposing your child to activity and exercise early on in life will help them choose physical activity for a lifetime. Sharing activities that are new and fun allows you to always fit your workout in and feel good about your health as well as your family’s health. Your children will love being a part of something that is important to you, and they’ll enjoy being active kids as well. Get moving together and enjoy the ride!
Jennifer Cooper is a mother, educator, athlete and managing partner with Annibets Kids Apparel in Vancouver, BC. Annibets roots itself in a passion for both family and design. Annibets strives to connect with families while creating clothing that is loved to last.