Collaborative Post¦ There’s a reason why physical education classes are part of the curriculum at school. Studies have shown that 30 minutes or more of exercise per day promotes better health and metabolism for kids. However, with schools being out and parents working from home, it may seem hard to remember to make daily exercise a priority. The only way to be sure it’s happening is if you as a parent participate as well. Here are a few ways to use walking as an approach to get involved in your kid’s exercise routine.
Use your breaks
If you’re working full-time, chances are you are allowed to take two separate 15 minute breaks on the clock. If this applies to you, take the opportunity to take a screen break and walk the block with your kiddos. Because the breaks are short, try speed walking to get your heart rate up. If your kids are a little older, try jogging next to them and challenge them to keep up the pace.
If you’re a new parent and find yourself wanting to get out with your baby to enjoy some fresh air while you get your steps in, make sure you ask your doctor beforehand if it’s alright. Once you get clearance, use your baby chest carrier to let your baby snuggle up to you while you both enjoy a walk together. The ideal time to walk with a baby is during the early morning hours when the sun isn’t too hot.
Use your backyard
If you’ve got a backyard, no matter how big or small, racing each other is a great way to get some steps in with your kids, especially if they are competitive. If you’ve got toddlers, you’re familiar with the amount of energy they have, and running seems like the only way they know how to walk anyway. Since you probably need to save some energy for the rest of your work day, try spreading out races throughout the day. With the sun staying up longer, you can even hold them at the end of your work day to burn off some extra energy for a better night’s sleep for both you and the kids.
If sprints and races aren’t your thing, a fun game of tag between mom, dad, and siblings can also be just as fun and competitive while spending some time together as a family.
Use the neighborhood
Do you remember walking to the nearby grocery store, gas station, or convenience store as a kid with your parents? Do you remember walking back with a treat in hand? Take advantage of the warmer weather and treat your own kids to a cookie from the bakery nearby, a bag of chips from the gas station around the corner, or an ice cream cone from the neighborhood convenience store.
If you prefer walks around your neighborhood, try to change the route once in a while. Kids tend to get bored easily with the same thing over and over. By changing routes, you’re also taking a safety precaution.
Use your family dog
If you’ve got a family dog, taking it for a few walks throughout the day will definitely help. Walking your dog while your kids are younger will teach them responsibility. If you’re planning on allowing your kids to do it when they get older, it will show them how to walk the dog safely when they’re ready to do it themselves.
Even if your walks are light, 30 minutes a day can help you and your kids stay healthy and help them develop healthier habits as they get older. The best part about it is that it’s a free activity that you can enjoy as a family.