Tips to get your kids moving

With three kids of my own I know how hard it is sometimes to get them off the couch. The lure of television, iPads, iPhones and video games means it can be tricky to get your kids active.

I am not the sort of mother to make my kids go for a quick jog or exercise class – they are only 5, 4 and 2. Instead, we’ve found a few, far more enjoyable, ways to exercise.

Turn the school run into a race.

If the weather’s fine we don’t do the school run in the car, we walk instead. Some days it can be a drag, so we take steps to make it fun. Instead of dawdling, we turn the trip to-and-from school into a competition. We challenge each other to see who can get to the school gate first. It gets everyone’s heart rate up and there is much squealing – a true indication of enjoyment.

Bounce to fitness.

Do you remember how much fun you had bouncing on a trampoline? I’d spend hours twisting, turning and somersaulting in the air. Now my kids do. Not only does it give my husband and I a bit of time out, it’s also boosting their health and flexibility. And best of all, they love it.

Scoot or ride you way to the park.

We often grab the scooters and the bikes and head to the park. Once there, we kick the ball around, the kids climb, slide, swing and roll down the hill. And then, when everyone’s tired out, we jump back on our bikes and scooters and head home. Quite often the journey there and back are the best bits of the adventure.

Dance Mania

Every chance we get at our house we turn the music on and dance. It’s the best for shaking any cares away. Regular dance-offs in our house are family affairs. We all jump around, singing and dancing.

Bust a move on the Wii

When it’s raining outside, it’s often hard to find things to get the kids up and about. Like dancing, the Wii and other games are great for keeping kids active. It also gets them interested in a whole variety of sports.

Golden oldies

Hop scotch, hula hoops, elastics and skipping.  And don’t forget hide and seek and chasey. All these golden oldies are not only fun, but also great for exercise. If your kids are laughing then you know they’ll come back for more.

Fun in the sun

Hot weather is no excuse for hiding indoors. When it heats up, slather on some sunscreen and find active ways to keep cool. Put the sprinkler on. Roll out the slip and slide. Fill the water pistols and the water balloons and be silly in the sun.

Make active choices

This might sound simple, but often it’s just simpler to take the easy option, particular when you have children. Maybe next time, instead of driving the kids somewhere, take the bus. Instead of going to the movies, go bowling. Instead of watching tv, go for a walk at the beach.

Exercise doesn’t always have to be structured. It doesn’t always have to be seen as boring. Exercise can make you laugh. Getting kids moving is one of the best gifts you can give them. By showing them ways to keep healthy, you can help them lead longer, happier lives.

Have you got any tips to get kids off the couch and exercising more?