Tuesday, March 20, 2012

10 Ways to Get Active with Your Family

As I’ve lost weight and gotten healthier I’ve gotten much more energetic. My husband has always been pretty active and we’ve enjoyed adopting a more active lifestyle together, but sometimes it’s still difficult to convince my couch-potato kids. Do you have that problem at your house, too?

With the lure of video games, TV, and the Internet, it can be hard to convince kids to get moving. Here are some suggestions to help:

1. Family bike rides. I love that all of my kids are finally big enough and stable enough on their bikes to make family bike rides fun. Everyone can keep up and it’s something that most of us enjoy doing. I’ve still got a couple of hold-outs, but they can usually be convinced with the promise of a treat at the end.

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Yeah, a Frosty or an ice cream bribe may not fall completely inline with a healthy lifestyle, but they make a fun occasional treat – even for the two big kids.

If you’ve got younger kids who have trouble keeping up or still need training wheels, you’ve got to check out this bike trainer trailer. We saw a few of them at a local park with lots of bike trails last year and I thought they were the smartest thing ever.

2. Toss a baseball. It’s the American pastime, right? Everybody can get involved and, unless you’ve got some great catchers, there’s going to be lots of movement involved as missed balls are chased. If you’ve got younger kids, ground balls are still fun to catch and throw.

3. Throw Frisbee. Frisbee is another fun, inexpensive way to have some family fun – as long as nobody gets whacked in the head. Ask me how I know that.

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4. Family walks. Hiking, nature trails, or just a walk around the block are great ways to get out and enjoy the warmer weather, but are still doable in all but the most inclement weather. If your kids are younger, turning it into a scavenger hunt can make it more enticing.

5. Play basketball. Whether it’s one-on-one, two-on-two, larger teams with neighborhood friends or family, or a game of “horse,” basketball is a fun, inexpensive sport that is fairly universally enjoyed (to play, not to watch!).

6. Walk or play with the dog. The kids will enjoy it and so will the dog.

7. Play the Wii. I love the Wii because most of the games involve natural movements and actions, rather than pressing a series of buttons in a way that I can never figure out. To get the most of the physically active aspect of playing the Wii, though, be sure to pick the active games, such as Just Dance, Wii Fit or Wii Sports (I love tennis and bowling!).

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8. Have a hula hoop or jump rope contest. Hula hoops and jump ropes are inexpensive and something that most people, kids and adults, alike, can do – and they provide a great calorie burn!

9. Play tag. No equipment and lots of movement makes tag a perfect game for everyone, as long as you’ve got a bit of space for chasing.

10. Active kid games. Have you got preschoolers? If so, you probably remember how fun – and active – games like Ring Around the Rosie and Duck, Duck Goose are. Plus, you’ll get the benefit of being the coolest parent around because you’re willing to play fun games with the kids.

What are some of your family’s favorite ways of being active together?

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This post is linked to Top 10 Tuesday.

4 comments:

  1. We love Frisbee here. As well as we used to have Nerf wars all the time. 

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  2. Oh, yeah, Nerf wars! Those are GREAT!

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  3. It's funny you should say that about the treats after the bike rides.  One of my favorite family moments growing up was going to our local "Dairy Dock" for a cone.  It was actually on a dock where we would run around and play.  I remember the fresh air and happiness of being together as much as the ice cream itself.  I actually associate that memory with being a tight-knit and active family as much as anything else we did.  Weird!

    Great suggestions!

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  4. That's cool! I hope we can make some great active memories like that with our kids.

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