5 Ways To Get Your Kids Into The Habit Of Exercising And Healthy Eating
Summer is almost over and with two weeks left before they go back to school, it’s time to start thinking about getting back into good habits like regular exercise and healthy eating. No matter how active your kids were all summer, here are some great ideas for getting (or keeping!) them on track!
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, if one parent is obese there is a 50% chance that their children will be obese. It’s time to make healthy habits a priority for you and your family.
1. Make it fun FAMILY time
After a long day at work and school, and a healthy early dinner together, head out for a bike ride, a walk/ run, or a game of tag or frisbee in the park. When it starts to get dark earlier, you may need to adjust your dinner time to get out for exercise before or after the meal. It may seem unimportant, but lots of kids aren’t getting the necessary bare minimum of 30 minutes per day of activity at school. They may sit on the sidelines or be just a little active in gym class, or “hang out” with friends at recess. It’s important to make sure that they are REALLY getting active every day! Sitting at home on devices or in front of the television is no way to bond as a family. Get out and have fun together!
2. Track everyone’s progress
Make a family chart and put it in the kitchen. Try adding stickers every time you complete a workout or spend at least half an hour being really active and getting your heart rate up. When the total number of stickers reaches a specific number (200?), reward your family with an active experience – like a visit to the indoor climbing gym, a ropes course, a hike outside the city, or maybe a bowling alley.
3. Be spontaneous
If you’re standing around waiting for someone, have a burpee competition. If you’re waiting at school pickup, go for a little walk or do some lunges and squats. Make the trip from the car to the house a race around the house with ten jumping jacks first. Have a pushup contest during TV commercials. Install a basketball net on your garage and play a game or two every day, or as soon as you arrive at home – before anyone even goes into the house!
4. Get out and enjoy nature
No matter what the weather, playing in the park or exploring a forest is lots of fun! If fall brings us rainstorms and foggy weather, get out your rain boots and pants and jackets and jump in the puddles! Don’t be afraid to get dirty with your kids! High Park has some great trails, and it’s an amazing place to explore no matter what the weather is! As a bonus you can visit the free high park zoo to see the llamas! Or go down to the Don Valley and explore the trails by foot or on your bikes! The Toronto area is full of easily accessible options – including places you can reach on public transportation.
5. High five
If you and the kids are tired, and you just “don’t feel like it”, promise yourself you’ll get started with at least five minutes of activity. A five minute basketball game, tag, volleyball, soccer, frisbee, or a fun relay race in the backyard is easy! The good news is that you probably won’t stop with just five minutes because you’ll be having fun!