A lot of people choose to make fitness and a healthy lifestyle a priority because of the benefits that come with it. Consistent, daily exercise has been known to improve mental clarity and increase productivity in addition to helping maintain a healthy weight and achieve fitness goals. But, oftentimes priorities like exercise and healthy lifestyles are pushed aside, especially when adults are transitioning into parenthood.
Parenthood is difficult! Priorities change and soon enough it seems like there isn’t time left for daily exercise. Whether you’re juggling the needs of a newborn or trying to find a work-life balance, working out is sometimes the first thing to drop off from your schedule. However, exercise is really important for parents. Aside from the obvious benefits like being physically fit, feeling more energized, and maintaining a healthy weight, parents who exercise are actually setting their kids up for long-term success.
According to a study published by the International Journal of Pediatrics, “children between 4 and 7 years of age were almost 6 times more likely to be active when one or both parents were active compared to parents who were inactive.” Children learn healthy (and unhealthy) habits starting at a very young age, which means the more you make exercising and healthy living a priority, the chances of your children mimicking those same behaviors will increase.
Exercising isn’t only important for adults, children need it too for a variety of reasons. This same study found that exercise helps develop and improve fine motor skills, promotes social relationships, and sets the foundation for a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle. Exercise doesn’t only affect physical appearance, it’s also linked to academic performance, self-confidence, and helps children develop new skills and abilities. When it comes to raising healthy and happy children, parents will do almost anything. Thankfully, teaching kids about exercise is fun and can be done together as a family.
The next time you lace up your gym shoes, bring your kids along for the workout. Here are a few ideas to get your whole family up and moving:
- Plan a play day with your family. Set up an obstacle course, a treasure hunt, or a family game of tag.
- Ditch the car. The next time you head out on an errand, consider biking there if possible. Riding bikes to the library, the pool, or just around the neighborhood will be fun for the whole family. Always make sure each person is wearing the appropriate safety equipment.
- Take a workout class together. Who said workout classes are just for adults? Register the whole family for a martial arts class, yoga class, or swim lessons. It’s important to teach kids that exercising can be fun and it’s also a good excuse to spend some extra time together.
However you choose to exercise with your children, make sure to have fun!