When kids are really young, it’s not that hard to squeeze in a workout. When they’re napping, follow an exercise video to break a sweat. If you like to run, conduct a few jogging stroller reviews to find the best model that allows your little one to comfortably sit back and enjoy the ride while you run. Heck, just following an 8-year-old around the playground is an aerobic exercise. But as children—and parents—grow older, finding time to do family fitness becomes more of a challenge. To see more information on jogging strollers see, http://www.babytuneup.com/jogging-stroller-reviews/.
That said, the benefits of parents and children exercising together remain the same. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, children with at least one obese parent have a 50% chance of also becoming obese. Conversely, when kids see mom and dad staying fit, then they are more likely to emulate that behavior. Even better, if everyone in the family participates, then exercise becomes a fun family activity.
The key to enticing older kids to be involved—willingly—is to find things everyone likes to do. Here are a few ideas to get you and your family moving.
• Learn an extreme sport
If you overhear your son or daughter talking about wanting to rock climb, snowboard, parkour or whatever physical activity that’s currently interesting him or her, then find opportunities to do it. Learn together. You may not be as into it as your kid, but he/she will take on the challenge with a bit more confidence knowing you’re there to encourage.
• Train for an event
These days there are all kinds of competitions—5K, marathon, mud runs, etc. Enter as a family and train as a family, holding each other accountable. It’s okay—actually, it’s great—if your child has to remind you to make time for a practice. Return the favor by prompting everyone to run a little farther with each session.
• Make a family wager
Does your teen think he can out pushup you? Accept the challenge, and put a family-friendly wager on it, such as winner doesn’t have to take out the trash for two weeks. Take the competition to the gym to (safely) test weight limits and keep a progress chart. At some point, the competitive nature will change from beating each other to beating personal bests, which is an effective long-term motivator.
• Get involved in your child’s sport
No, you don’t have to try out for the high school football team at age 40-something, but don’t just drop him off at practice and leave or sit around answering emails on your smartphone. While she’s working up a sweat on the soccer field, you could be dribbling a ball on an empty field. If he’s perfecting his hurdling form, you could be running bleachers. You don’t have to do the exact same training, but your child will appreciate the effort you’re putting in under the same tough environmental conditions.
It’s not necessarily the workout details your kids will remember, but rather the time you all spend together.