As a parent, you understand the need for your child to stay physically active. But let’s be honest; today’s society caters more towards being sedentary than physical fitness. It’s imperative to resist this temptation by limiting your child’s screen time and getting him or her active.
But how are you supposed to get your child off the couch?
It’s simple, really: help nurture a love of physical fitness by showing them that fitness is fun. Reinforce to your child that getting active is exciting, and you won’t need to beg them to go outside — they’ll just do it on their own!
If you’re struggling to come up with fun outdoor activities to introduce to your child, here are seven quick suggestions you can easily implement:
Go To The Playground
Kids love the playground, and playground time helps foster independent play and creativity. Another bonus of taking your child to the playground is that you’ll often get to meet other like-minded parents while you’re there.
Remember: a day at the playground is beneficial to both child and parent! Just make sure you teach your child proper playground safety to ensure they avoid injuring themselves or others.
Join A Soccer League
Soccer is a simple, yet fantastic way to encourage your child to get physically fit. There are a lot of benefits for young kids who play soccer. Also, joining a league is typically very simple, as most cities and towns have several youth leagues available to join for a small fee.
Take A Hike
Do you have any national or state parks in your area? How about nature trails or rail trails? Taking your child for a low-intensity hike is not only a great exercise, but also it’s a fantastic way to spend quality time together. Use a site like AllTrails to find a suitable location to hike in your area.
Have Outdoor Sports Time
Sporting equipment doesn’t have to be expensive. Go to a used sporting goods store and buy low-cost equipment for sports like basketball, baseball, or football. Once a week, go to your backyard or a local park and teach your child the ins-and-outs of each sport. Over time, you might find that your child gravitates to one sport in particular, and perhaps even wants to join a league.
Ride A Bike
Most children enjoy riding bikes, and bike riding is another great activity to enjoy with your child. Find a quiet street nearby or throw your bikes in the car and go to a local park that has a bike path, and don’t forget to bring your helmets! According to the CDC, over half of young people don’t wear a helmet, so make sure your child wears theirs (and you too!).
One of the best full-body workouts anyone can participate in is swimming. What child doesn’t love to jump in a pool? If you don’t have a pool in your backyard, consider joining your local Y, which likely has a pool available (as well as swimming lessons). Of course, before they dive in, don’t forget to teach your child proper pool safety.
Jump On A Trampoline
Although jumping on a trampoline is a lot of fun, it’s also great exercise, as well. Consider investing in a trampoline for your backyard. If this isn’t possible due to space or finances, stop by your local trampoline park for a rollicking good time as you launch your child towards better fitness.
Set An Example For Good Health
Perhaps the best way to set a healthy lifestyle for your children is to be a good example yourself. Don’t take a “do as I say, not as I do” philosophy. Getting active yourself will speak volumes to your child about their own need to stay physically fit too. Start a new family tradition that lasts a lifetime: physical fitness!
Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and the world of fitness.