Getting a good workout program and healthy eating not only promotes your good health, but can be a great way to promote fitness for kids. Children live what they see and if they see a parent that’s active and eats healthy, the chances are, they’ll grow up doing the same. You get a double benefit from a fitness program. It not only improves your health, it improves the health of your family, particularly if you use some of the new found energy to participate in active play with the children.
Start with a healthy menu.
You do the shopping, or a spouse does, not the kids. Create a united front with other adults in the house to insure the foods you bring in are healthy. Have healthy snacks ready and waiting in the refrigerator for those hungry times after school. Even though there’s been attention drawn to healthier school lunches, not all schools follow the guidelines. Make sure you check what’s on the menu and if it’s not a healthy choice, pack your child healthy lunches. If you’re eating healthy, there’s no reason to have junk food in the house. Healthy eating should be the norm.
Make sure each child has adequate exercise.
You can limit the amount of computer, iPad, TV or laptop time and increase the amount of activity they get in simple ways. Walk your child to school if at all possible, rather than drive them. You’ll both benefit from the extra exercise. Encourage activities like sports, hide and seek and tag. The whole family can go geocaching or rock climbing. You can also create a treasure hunt, with a hidden treasure that can be found after following clues. Hide the object in the house and let them find the treasure while you’re preparing dinner or doing other things.
Workout with the kids or find a local activity program.
If you have a community center or after school programs that offer sports and active games, you can use this resource. However, even if they have one, there may be problems with scheduling. If no programs are available, share your workout with the kids. Ask your personal trainer for modifications that younger children might require or ways to make it harder for children that are more fit.
– Dance away during commercials with the kids, or create a two minute workout. It can be a lot of fun and nobody will argue they want to watch the TV when it’s commercial time.
– Get children involved in meal preparation. There are cute ways to create fruit and vegetable creatures that kids will love to eat.
– Make your weekend adventures, true adventures. Go hiking, bike riding, roller blading, skiing or other active options and pack a healthy lunch for the trip.
– Get the kids involved in chores to get them finished faster, get them moving and teach a sense of responsibility. Chores can be one more way to increase physical activity.