fitness

8 Ways to Be Active with Your Kids

Whether it’s telling my homeschool friends that I work or telling my co-workers that I homeschool the response is almost always the same:“How in the world do you do it all?”I get this question so often that I automatically reply, “It’s simple. I don’t do it all.”

I homeschool three children several days a week and I also work two nights a week as a hospice nurse. To say that my time is precious is an understatement. I have learned to make the important things a priority and have placed everything else on my “I’ll get to it if I have time” list. Current items on that list are washing my windows, bleaching my bathroom tile, and some weeks…changing my daughters’s sheets.

One thing that is a priority to me is physical fitness. My weight has always been (and will always continue to be) a struggle for me.  Two years ago when this Simply Healthy Mama journey began, I was sedentary and lived off of junk food and soda.  I have lost 40 pounds (so far!) by changing my eating habits and exercising regularly.  I try hard to balance time spent exercising and time spent with family.  Is a healthy lifestyle important? Yes. But my children are more important than me being a size 6.

Sometimes I have to be creative in how I get my workout time in. I still enjoy getting on the treadmill at the gym (and have no guilt whatsoever about dropping them off in the youth lounge at the gym for an hour while I do so) but I am trying to find ways that we can all be active together. Here are a few ideas for physical activities you can do with your children.  

1.  Take an exercise class with your kids. My gym offers kid’s classes every day of the week.  I haven taken Kid’s Zumba with my two older girls. It was a great workout and I get to spend time with them too. And let me tell you, Kid’s Zumba ain’t no joke.

2.  Walk or bike to the park or store or library together. We love walking to the park during this time of the year.  I miss our old town where we could bike a mile to the library, the hardware store or the video store (remember those?).  For longer bike rides with younger children invest in a bike trailer or a tandem bike attachment.  We bought a tandem attachment like this one years ago at Target and our two oldest girls have loved it!

3.  Have one “fun fitness day” a month. This is actually recommended in my race training program to break of the monotony of running every day. Skating and bowling are two of our favorite activities!

 
Roller Derby Queen!  I so missed my calling.
4.  Teach your kids a sport.  Basketball, soccer, tennis, swimming, football, synchronized swimming, the options are endless!  Or teach them a new game such as hopscotch, foursquare, jumping rope, or freeze tag.

5.  Have a Wii Dance Party!  My girls love it when we play Just Dance together.  They especially love to watch their dad play.  I’ll admit it’s pretty funny watching Aaron dance to “Firework.” 
6.  Jump on the trampoline with your kids instead of sitting and watching.  (Mama tip:  You may need a Poise pad for this activity.  I’m not responsible if you don’t heed this advice.)

7.  Train for and run a race together. My eleven year old is excited about running a race with me and her dad later this year and I’m hoping to get my seven year old running soon too.  I’m actually in the process of putting together a girls’ running group within our homeschooling group and I am super excited about doing a 5K with this group of girls!  

8.  Take up hula hooping. My girls and I made our own hula hoops and Annagrace has become quite the pro at it.  I learned how recently too!

Hooping at a local music festival
Homemade hula hoops!

 

9.  Lead by example.  The best thing you can do to encourage your kids to be active is to be active yourself.  On a recent trip to the local university to run the stadium steps my three year old said, “Look mama!  I can do it too!”  Be a good example to your kiddos, mama!  They are watching everything you do (or don’t do!).  


Physical activity is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  I’m seeing the importance of teaching my kids to do something active every day.  Thirty minutes daily of jumping on the trampoline of playing an active Wii game is almost a requirement in our house!  

Do you have any tips for keeping your children active?   I’d love to hear some of your ideas!

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4 thoughts on “8 Ways to Be Active with Your Kids

  1. I love this post! It’s easy for me to send the kids outside to play while I’m doing other things, like computer stuff, etc. But I’ve tried to be more intentional about doing activities WITH them, like Wii Dance or even just “tag” outside. My girls think it’s so funny when I run or dance around with them and it definitely keeps me moving. Great ideas, thanks for sharing!

    1. Hey Amy! I know what you mean about sending the kids out to play. I used to do that all the time and I’m still guilty of doing that some days. But I have a harder time saying no now when they beg me to jump on the trampoline with them! I have some more homeschool specific ideas that I’ll be posting about soon!

  2. Amazing. I agree that physical fitness is very important especially for the working women. There are various methods for physical fitness but it is not necessary that one method will suit for everybody. To continue easily on your goal, the easiest way is to join fitness club in this way you can interact with new peoples and these may motivate you to stay committed to your target. For more tools and techniques that nay help you improve fitness you can visit this blog http://fitmotion.com.au/2013/02/16/another-weight-loss-tool/. I found this very informative and interesting.

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