Do you enjoy exercising with your children or teens? In a busy day of work, community, and family, it’s natural to look forward to alone time. Running down the street with your tunes in your ears and the sun in your face – alone – is great therapy.
But believe it or not, there are many benefits from exercising with your children – for them and for you. One of your kiddos may just want to get in shape, another might be training for soccer, and the youngest might simply want to spend more time with you. So why not tie on your running shoes and bring someone along with you for that afternoon run? Here are some lessons you may just learn along the way.
Daily exercise is just as important for them. Though we may think back fondly to our younger years, when we could run a mile without thinking about it and played team sports before, during, and after school, our children don’t have as active a lifestyle. More of their day is spent sitting at school and sitting in front of computers and TVs, so they can use the encouragement to get more exercise.
A healthy lifestyle must be taught. Young people don’t instinctively make right food and exercise choices. They need information, the why behind the diet, and encouragement. It might take daily reminders to drink enough water and to include healthy proteins in every meal before these habits became natural.
Children start off with less strength and endurance. This may sound obvious, but you might be surprised at first. Though most of us consider ourselves much more sedentary than our children, it will probably take a few weeks before they develop the strength and endurance to keep up with a longer workout.
It will be much more enjoyable for everyone, then, if you keep the sessions short, about 20 minutes of moderate activity. After a couple weeks, you can add more time or a little more strenuous workouts. Before you know it, you might be the one struggling to keep up! But at first, it’s important to pace yourself.
Young people like to be included. And this doesn’t just mean letting them tag along. Children and teens like to choose the activity – shall we run or play an hour of indoor soccer? – and the gear. The more input they have, the more they’ll take ownership of their own healthy lifestyle. That is completely worth the compromises.
Like any workout plan, this takes commitment. You’ll need to make a commitment to yourself and to your children that you’ll include them in your daily workout. This keeps you and them accountable. On running days, your teens will be ready to improve on their time and keep you puffing down the street. On walking days, your youngest will look forward to telling you everything on his mind.
Working out with children is a great way to pass on healthy habits to the next generation. Why not find a young person in your family or community that you can help today?
For more information about exercise, check back each week for tips from Promax Nutrition.