You know why you need to eat well, stay active and live a healthy lifestyle. But as parents, healthy living is not just about you anymore. The physical, mental and spiritual health of your children is now top priority. As a family, incorporating fitness and a nutritient-rich diet is paramount, especially for your kids. So how do you motivate you kids to lead a healthy life? Here are five ways you can get your kids excited about health and fitness. Here you’ll see its easy (and enjoyable) to make fitness fun for the whole family:
Explore Mother Nature
Courts, fields and gyms are great for staying active, but nothing compares to the outdoors — nature’s playground. During the summertime, check out nearby biking or hiking trails. Nutrient-filled vitamin D from the sunshine boosts wellness as raising the heart rate in mother nature nurtures the soul and nourishes the mind, even for the little ones. Nicole Sergi of Mind Body Green highlights how hiking invites a sense of adventure and intrepid spirit. Explore beyond dry land and get aquatic, too. Surrounded by urban concrete without a mountain or lake in sight? Plan your next vacation at an outdoor recreation destination where your family can experience the thrill of kayaking or skiing.
Involve the Family Pet
It’s just as harmful for your dog to remain sedentary every day as it is for you. “Dogs are natural hunters, chasers and all-around go-getters,” says Animal Planet. Since man’s best friend craves physical activity, why not foster his or her instinct to be active, while also keeping the family in shape? The fur baby is, after all, part of the family. If your pet and kids are best buddies, then staying active together is an effortlessly good (and healthy) time. Head to the park where you and your kids can jog with the pooch, play fetch or rollerblade. You can even build a dogstacle course in your background for fun circuit training.
Set up Yoga Playdates
If you’re like most young families, your household is on-the-move, busy and probably even stressful. The speed at which your family moves affects children too. Yoga serves an effective way for the whole family to manage stress, learn to become calm, relax and adopt self-control and discipline. Yoga can also help children concentrate, build self-awareness and improve self-esteem. Ready to raise a little yogi warrior? Plan a playdate with other parents and kids centered on a yoga routine. Even play up an animal theme and meow in cat pose or moo in cow pose. There is no better way to get kids excited about health and fitness than by incorporating fun activities and friends.
Create a Rewards System for Cool Gear
Part of the fun of becoming a fitness-focused family is getting all the cool gear and athletic apparel. Sports equipment, running shoes and even protective lenses for sports sunglasses help take fitness to the next level and ensure your workouts are safe. For example, proper running shoes help protect from pain or blisters, and polarized shades with 100 percent UV protection help shield eyes from damage while hiking under the sun’s intense rays. Of course, buying brand-new gear and equipment can become a costly investment, so set up a rewards system. Kids can earn points for completing household chores and homework, as well as for achieving a nutrition or fitness-related goal. Each point earned goes toward new skies or basketball sneakers, for example.
Get Kids Involved in the Kitchen
An active lifestyle and exercise is only half of the battle for health and wellness. Nourishing bodies with nutrient-rich food provides energy for workouts and helps kids grow and develop. This means from the classroom to the bike trail, kids feel energized, happy and confident. By fostering this type of lifestyle early on with children, they’ll gain the knowledge and tools to make healthy choices for the rest of their lives. Since the goal is activity, get your kids active in the kitchen. Plan healthy, delicious dinners together. Make grocery shopping a positive event and schedule fun dinners like “Taco Tuesday,” in which the whole family can take the time to cook together and spend more time than usual at the kitchen table.