One of the driving forces behind the early development of Adventure to Fitness was to create a resource that made it super easy - literally as easy as pressing play - to get kids up, moving, and active. Dr. Severin Palydowcyz, one of our medical advisors, reports that “one of the disturbing factors leading to decreased physical activity among kids is simply that parents, teachers, and schools don’t have the time or resources necessary for the task.”
For many parents who both work and come home late, there are few options to make sure kids are getting that 60-minute block of required movement every day. As populations increasingly migrate to cities, safety concerns about kids being outside play a larger role. In that spirit, I wanted to share with you 3 ideas that I personally have used to get the kids in my life moving without having to go outside or use any special equipment.
1. Make it a competition.
We know that kids don’t see “fitness” as fun. They don’t really understand fitness in the abstract the way that we as adults do. Jumping jacks, push ups, sit ups: it’s all just boring, repetitive, unstimulating movement to them.
But a competition? A challenge? A race to the finish? Now that sounds more like a kid’s idea of fun! If you have more than one child, try to engender some healthy sibling rivalry - just don’t let it go overboard. Challenge your kid to see who can do more jumping jacks in 2 minutes, do time trials up and down the stairs, or see who can do more laps around the house. Those are just a few ideas; you will come up with more if you start thinking like a kid and making a game out of it.
2. No siblings? No problem. Challenge your only-child to move.
After reading number one above you might have been saying “Well that’s all peachy-keen, but what if I am the parent of an only child? What then?” Good questions. Your only child may not have siblings to compete with, but she does have you! You need to jump in there! Try designing fun challenges with your kids. Tell your child you’ll race her to the top of a hill - they on their bike and you on your own two feet. Or see who can jump rope longer. Or even hoola-hoop! You don’t even need to introduce rewards or prizes. With kids, the element of conquering a challenge is fulfilling on its own. Plus, getting your kids used to the world of healthy competition is a great esteem-building exercise.
3. Dance party!
A lot of kids will look at you like you’ve gone wonko if you start talking about doing jumping jacks and lunges in your living room. But throw on some classic dance jams and turn up the stereo? Forget about it. I can say from personal experience that once you get up and start dancing, the kids will be right there alongside you having a blast. The best part is they won’t even realize they’re exercising! At our local elementary school, mornings start with teachers putting on hits like “Gangnam Style” and other popular songs in the cafeteria and the kids get to show off their moves and have a little dance party. It’s a super fun, goofy, and active way to start the day and get those brains functioning. Try your best silly dance moves and inspire your child’s imagination by seeing how many he or she can invent and name.
Of course, if all of these options don’t appeal to you there’s one we’re pretty sure your kids will love and is fun for the whole family. Do we need to say it? Adventure to Fitness!