This is my plea to any parent of an athlete…. get out there with them and throw a ball, spot them on a back hand spring, shoot a basket, swim a lap… whatever. I feel it’s so important that as parents not only do we pay for and lug them everywhere :), but we need to show we are also actively involved in their sport of choice.
If we don’t show interest in what they are doing, how can we expect them to stay interested. I work on the computer as I watch my daughter do gymnastics. But when we go home, I practice with her for just 10 more minutes so that she knows I was watching and paying attention. I used to catch my son until he started throwing too hard. Now I load the ball on the tee when we practice in the garage, or just watch him and give him helpful tips…even though sometimes I KNOW he’s not listening and mumbling “whatever mom!” But I don’t care because I’m trying to show my children that I’m actively involved in what they are doing.
Our children love it when we are involved and interested in what they are doing – and physical activity is no exception. If you are willing to participate in an activity with your children, they will more than likely be willing to try it and continue on by themselves. Not only that, but when kids are active at a young age, the habit tends to stick throughout their lifetime
Plus there is a great side benefit… sometimes kids really open up when they are doing something they love. I can’t tell you how many wonderful conversations I’ve had with my kids as we were working out together… things I don’t think they would otherwise tell me.
Beyond just working out in their sport, I think it’s important to try to exercise with them as well. Nick and I used to lift weights together… great bonding time and a great way to teach him the proper way to lift. Ava and I ride bikes together.
Of course, we all know the perks of exercise. It maintains weight, helps mood and attitude, improves sleep habits, etc. By exercising with your kids you’re teaching them great lifelong habits.
Depending on where you live the definition of hike may vary. If you live in a rural area take the kids on a long walk through the woods. Invite them to explore nature and join in the fun. If you aren’t used to the exercise start off with small trips and make them long as you go.
This can be as simple or as complicated as you want it make it. Set up a course in your backyard or in your living room. Make things to climb over, around and through. Don’t just watch your kids go through the course, do it yourself.
Take the Stairs
Forget the elevator and take the stairs wherever you go. At home you can use the stairs for a workout. Trying running up and down the stairs a few times. To make it an ever better workout hold one of your kids while you go up and down.
Join in with your children’s outdoor activities. If they are jumping rope, jump with them. You can play hopscotch, basketball or Frisbee with them. Put on some old clothes and roll down the hill with your child. Do summersaults and cartwheels. If you are stuck inside make a game of doing summersaults going down the hallways or even just rolling across the living room floor.
There aren’t many forms of exercise more fun than dancing. Throw on one of your favorite CDs and let loose. Invite the kids to join you. Just about any fast-paced music will do the trick. If you own Wiggles CDs or DVDs these are a great workout for you and your kids. If you do choose the Wiggles I strong suggest stretching before hand!
Do you have a bike rusting away in the garage? Get it out and put it to good use. Your kids will love going for rides with you. If you don’t have bikes and don’t want to spend the money to buy new ones, check out your local goodwill or thrift store. They may have great used bikes you can purchase for a fraction of the cost of a new one. Just make sure you check over any used bikes for defects that maybe dangerous.