Fitness Activities for Kids: Help Your Kids Stay Fit and Active by Joining In!
Amid full-time jobs, financial worries, and lack of time, many parents feel lost about how to keep their kids active and fit. But exercise is important—not only for weight control, but for helping kids handle stress, avoid diseases like diabetes and heart disease, feel better about themselves, and learn better, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. And being a fit family doesn’t have to add stress or break the bank.
Set aside time
Los Angeles mother Turusew Gebedu-Wilson works full time, so, “it’s mostly evenings and weekends when we go to the park or find safe streets to walk on for about half an hour,” she says. Exercising with her two boys “is great because they’re not fidgety, and their energy gets channeled through activities. Finding time to be active together is always a challenge, but we have to work around it. Being active doesn’t have to be an expensive activity or trip to the gym. Keeping fitness fun and easy gives them a foundation to stay healthy.”
Steve Baldwin, a Long Beach father, follows a similar routine. “Lately the pattern has been that I get home from work around five, the kids play in the backyard before dinner, we eat dinner, then we all go for a walk or bike ride around seven. It’s cooler, and the kids love to get out of the house.” Baldwin, who works full time and has two side jobs, says he has two rules about kids’ fitness activities: “It has to be outside and the kids have to have fun.”
Be active indoors
For Oakland mom Trina Rockefellar, “being active indoors is a safety thing. . . .The area we live in isn’t one you’d want to walk around in. There are unleashed dogs and unsafe people out.”
To keep her family healthy, she has come up with some simple indoor activities. “My daughter and I do a Tai Bo video together. Also, we have an Airwalker and my daughter and I challenge each other on it. When my kids are doing their homework, I do the Airwalker. They can ask me anything or tell me about their day. I don’t realize it when half an hour has gone by. We also turn the radio on while I’m making dinner and we dance in the kitchen.”
Rockefellar made the move to be more active after learning about the problems that Type 2 Diabetes could cause her children. “As an African American woman, my kids are at the highest risk. We (parents) need to look at what we cook and learn what we need to replace. If parents don’t know what they’re doing wrong, they’ll continue to do the same things.”
Reprinted with the permission of the Action Alliance for Children.
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