My daughter finally graduated out of toddler “kicks” and into big kid shoes. While shoe shopping, I tried to talk her into some modest black sneakers, because, those shoes would match with everything. But no, my daughter chose the bright purple running shoes with neon green accents. Since they were on sale (and I had a coupon), I said sure. After all, while they wouldn’t match a lot, those shoes were perfect for running. Since the purchase, my daughter and I have been going “out for a run.” In fact, the whole family has been getting out and exercising together. Here are five great reasons to exercise with your family.
It’s Quality, Television-Free Family Time
I often hear parents complaining that their children are glued to the television or other electronic device. According to the Relationships Foundation, “much of the child’s basic learning takes place in the many informal situations that occur daily in the life of the family.” This is why family time is important. If you aren’t into running, you might consider going on a bike ride or playing a friendly game of tag in the backyard. Leisure activities, such as walking, gives you time to talk, laugh and share stories about your day.
It Helps Your Kids Go to Sleep
My kids come from a long line of night owls. A good dose of exercise (but not too late) helps them fall asleep. When the weather permits, we like to go out and ride scooters and bikes. When the weather is not “exercise-friendly,” we do hula hooping and jump roping. My kids have even done P90X. At night, when my daughter says, “I’m so tired,” I smile. Of course, when the kids go to bed earlier, it’s easier for them to wake up for school. Case closed.
It’s a Healthy Habit
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and adolescents “need 60 or more minutes of physical activity each day.” Most of this exercise (at least three times a week) should be “aerobic activity.” “Muscle strengthening activities” (such as push-ups) and “bone strengthening activities” (such as jump-roping) should both be part of your family’s exercise routine, at least three times a week.
Killing Two Birds with One Stone
I have a hard time finding time to go workout, unless it’s before 6 a.m. or after 9 p.m. Personally, I would rather sleep. Thus, by exercising with my family, I get to spend time with them while fitting in some much needed exercise. While I still enjoy my solitary runs, the bulk of my working out takes place while I’m caring for my kids.
Having Fun While Burning Calories
Leading an active lifestyle is a great way to burn calories continuously throughout the day. According to harvard.edu, for those between 125 and 180 pounds, a 15 minute per mile walk could burn between 135 to 200 calories every half hour. Furthermore, child games like hopscotch can burn between 150 to 222 calories per 30 minutes. So go ahead and get moving!
Exercising with your family has a lot of benefits! Oh, and don’t forget to bring your dog(s) along too.
More from Melissa:
5 Ways I Burn Calories (Without Even Trying)
How to Encourage Inactive Kids to Exercise
Get Moving: Try These Indoor Energy Burners for Kids