Oct 26, 2015

5 Ways to Encourage an Active Lifestyle For Your Kids



I have a secret. A hang-your-head kind of secret.

I was a super duper lazy loaf of a kid. Like I had the Disney Toon Afternoon schedule down. If I had the choice to go outside and play or stay inside and watch TV or read a book, then I always chose inside with my favorite show or book.

I didn't fully appreciate being active until I was in middle school. I joined the volleyball team. I got involved in some after school activities, which weaned me off of Disney Toon Afternoon (which at my age I should have already done, but alas who can help but loving Gummy Bears or Duck Tales).

Once I caught the active lifestyle bug, I was hooked. I love being active. A healthy active lifestyle is such an important thing to have. I decided as a young parent that I wanted my kids to love being healthy and active as much as I do.

Now I am a not-so-young parent of four boys. Encouraging kids to be active can be challenging and not as easy as I thought it would be. I have learned a couple of things, and I am sure I have many things to still learn.

However, I want to share some things I have learned over the years. Here are 5 Ways to Encourage an Active Lifestyle For Your Kids.


1. Limit Video Games and TV Time.

My kids could quite possibly spend every minute between getting home from school and going to bed watching TV and playing video games. One of the best things we have done as parents is to limit video games and TV. Most importantly, video games. We allow video games to be played only two days a week. For us that is Friday and Saturday. There are rules set in order for them to play video games on the given day. One of them is outside time.


2. Get Them Outside.

Get your kiddos outside. Whether it is in your yard, at the park, or on a walk. We have even taken our kids to a nearby elementary school to play. Have balls, bikes, or scooters available. My boys love to play football with each other and with friends. They also LOVE their bikes.

Worried about weather? We live somewhere pretty chilly, but we still find ways to go outside during the winter. Not every day. In fact, sometimes it is just once a week. Encouraging them to bundle up in their snow gear and build a snowman (okay who am I kidding they are getting in a snowball fight) will help keep the habit alive.

There are so many options to going outside. Sometimes it might take a sacrifice, but having your kids learn to choose outside instead of inside will keep them playing and moving.


3. Sign them up for sports.

My kids aren't naturally athletic. However, we have them sign up for a variety of sports and activities. We have them try lots of things. There are so many activities/sports available for kids to play at almost any age. There are the traditional team sports like baseball, soccer, football and basketball. There are individual sports like running, swimming, and golf. There is dance, karate, and gymnastics.

Sports are great because they give kids goals. They have practices that keep them active. Right now we allow our kids to try a variety to allow them to discover what activities they like the most. Playing sports give the kiddos a way to stay active that I don't have to monitor. They have coaches, teams, and practices.


4. Make it a family affair.

Encouraging your kids to be active is easier if they see you being active. Go on a walk around the neighborhood together. Do a race together. They have so many family friendly low key races. My boys and I got to do a really fun 1 mile mud run and obstacle course this Summer. Watching my boys run, climb, and crawl through that race.

My boys have done Insanity with me. My husband goes out back and plays football with our boys. We go on bike rides. If you like hiking, take your kiddos. Find something active you can do as a family. If you are active, your kids will be too.


5. Invest in activewear.

A couple of summers ago, one of my boys was playing big kid baseball for the first time. We got him ready for the baseball season by buying him baseball pants, shoes, a mitt, and a baseball hat. NONE of it was fancy, but it was perfect. We talked about if he dressed the part then he would try hard and play like a real baseball player.

It worked.

Over the last several years I have used that same train of thought with getting my kids to want to be active. I let them pick out shorts, shirts, and even some of those super cool tall socks. We watch for sales and we get basics. It makes my kids more invested in being active.

Another important investment is shoes. Since my kids play a variety of sports, I buy my boys a nice pair of running shoes or cross-trainers that they can use in multiple activities. When they have good shoes they want run faster. Good shoes also last longer and wear better. I have tried buying inexpensive shoes. They always wear out really fast and are not comfortable for my boys to wear.

My boys' new favorite shoes are these Nikes. I was able to find all four of my boys great pairs of Nikes, ALL on sale too, at JCPenney's. I have talked about my love for JCPenney before. JCP has an incredible selection of Active Lifestyle products for the whole family. My boys had the hardest time picking out which shoes they were going to get. There were just SO many to choose from, especially online.

When they came, the boys immediately put them on. Do you know what they did next? They went off running. Then they got on their bikes. Then they got out the football. All they wanted to do was run around and be active. Win!

JCPenney not only has shoes, but they also have tons of great activewear for your kids. You can find a great selection online or at your local store. We obviously really like the selection of shoes.

I know it sounds cheesy, but outfitting your kids in great activewear really does make them excited to be more active. Good activewear, especially shoes, is also better for them as they play sports.

Encouraging my kids to be active has helped them have healthy habits. I have found that these 5 simple things have helped me as a parent encourage my kids to have an active lifestyle.

Is there something that you do to help your kids be active? Leave me a comment and tell me what you do to help your kids be active and you will be entered in a sweepstakes to win a $100 JCPenney gift card.
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74 comments:

Danyelle said...

I limit the time my kids can spend with screens and often times, push them to go outside "You can go outside and play with all these toys, bikes, balls, and equipment or whatever. If you stay inside, expect me to find chores for you to do."

erika said...

We make it fun- trips to the park are always exciting, and we love after dinner walks around our neighborhood.

chambanachik(at)gmail(dot)com

One Frugal Girl said...

https://twitter.com/OneFrugalGirl/status/659099560363610113

One Frugal Girl said...

We talk about how amazing it is to go outside. How beautiful the weather is, how nice the wind feels against our skin, how the rain nourishes the flowers.

Mami2jcn said...

Whenever the weather is bad, we have an indoor gym we go to.

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

Mami2jcn said...

tweet--https://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/659106166350479360

Julie Wood said...

I keep my kids motivated by getting outside with them! We take the dog to the park which is 5 blocks away and take a soccer ball and we all play soccer, and get good exercise. We also go hiking and ride bikes together!
my email jewelwood55(at)gmail(dot)com

Julie Wood said...

tweet-https://twitter.com/JewelWood/status/659113981957672960
my email jewelwood55(at)gmail(dot)com

Elena said...

I keep them motivated by being active myself. We like biking and walking

elena150980 at yahoo dot com

Elena said...


https://twitter.com/ElenaIstomina/status/659120025668751360
elena150980 at yahoo dot com

kellyr78 said...

My kids and I like to go on nature walks and they both like to play basketball.
kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

kellyr78 said...

tweet
https://twitter.com/Kellydpa/status/659138778989096960

kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More said...

We like to go for walks or hikes several days a week.

Lisa Brown said...

I don't really need to help them be active, they like being outside with neighborhood friends and playing...most of the time :)

Lisa Brown said...

tweet-https://twitter.com/LuLu_Brown24/status/659420180968173569

JC said...

We go biking as family activity on weekends.
tcarolinep at gmail dot com

JC said...

tweet-https://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/659580416450367488

Natalie said...

I love to go for bike rides with my daughter and I limit her TV time. We do a lot of outdoor activities as a family. yarbr012@gmail.com

Natalie said...

tweet https://twitter.com/yarbr012/status/659721080915951616 yarbr012@gmail.com

latanya t said...

we go outside to play and we do soccer

dlatany at gmail dot com

latanya t said...

https://twitter.com/sweetums82/status/659800541053263872

dlatany at gmail dot com

Two Dollars said...

I think you covered most of what we do - lessons, gear, getting outside with the kids. The only thing I can add is rewarding the outside activities. We have a general reward system that they fill up a cup and once it's filled they can turn it in for a reward. Most of the points are gained through good behavior or positive school feedback, but they also get points for outside time and participating in after school activities.

Madeline B said...

My child is now a teen and it's more difficult to get her to be active. We do try to go hiking with her cousin on weekends once in a while at the local park. She enjoys it since she has her cousin there!
maddiembrubaker {at} gmail [dot] com

Madeline B said...

Tweet link: https://twitter.com/shala_darkstone/status/660596681830825984
maddiembrubaker {at} gmail [dot] com

Amy said...

To help my kids be active, I have to join them for the fun. I often go ride bikes or play soccer with them. :) I'm benefiting from all those exercising as well.

amy [at] utry [dot] it

Amy said...

tweeted:
https://twitter.com/uTry_it/status/661295039105011714

amy [at] utry [dot] it

kari jasus said...

my son plays soccer

kari jasus said...

https://twitter.com/raggammuffin/status/661320366787133441

Debbie said...

We didn't let our kids get on the computer or watch any television. That forced them to be active!

Debbie said...

tweet https://twitter.com/suburbsanity/status/661573629008855045

clc408 said...

I always made sure my boys enrolled in organized sports like soccer and baseball. They also played outside a lot.

clc408 said...

Tweet
https://twitter.com/clc408/status/662253795364249600

Stephanie Phelps said...

I try and keep my kids active by being active with them! We love to ride bikes and swim together! my4boysand1@gmail.com

Stephanie Phelps said...

I tweeted my4boysand1@gmail.com
https://twitter.com/my4boysand1/status/662285143848165376

Elle said...

We like to take our dog for walks around the park or neighborhood instead of just letting him out in the fenced in backyard.
prettyinhotpink6@gmail dot com

Elle said...

Tweet: https://twitter.com/PrettyHotPink6/status/662639774432280577

Rebecca W. said...

We limit tv and video games with our children to encourage outdoor play. We also play family games together and ping pong.

Rebecca W. said...

https://mobile.twitter.com/michael64263870/status/662748397749837825

rachel said...

We go outside daily! Gets out the wiggles!

Deb Ford said...

We hike the peaks of the adirondacks on the weekends

Deb Ford said...

tweeted
https://twitter.com/fairydancer35/status/663079033899524097

Kristen said...

We like to do things together like riding bikes or walking in the park or swimming. It's always more fun together :)

Kristen said...

tweeted
https://twitter.com/rubylorikeet/status/663152733113810944

Tina said...

we go to the park or riding bikes together
tina19820115@gmail.com

Tina said...

https://twitter.com/HappyTina0115/status/665000220300869632
tina19820115@gmail.com

Shawn Gallagher said...

Run with them... Simple! Shawn92379@gmail.com

Shawn Gallagher said...

https://mobile.twitter.com/Esham4life/status/665769162799775744 shawn92379@gmail.com

Gina Wildorchid said...

I get my son involved in activities with me all the time - riding bikes, swimming, etc. He also loves to play with his neighborhood friends.

Thanks for the chance to win!

wildorchid985 AT gmail DOT com

Gina Wildorchid said...

tweet--https://twitter.com/WildOrchid985/status/666261406065520641

wildorchid985 AT gmail DOT com

MCantu1019 said...

We ride bikes and walk everyday.

Kerry said...

We like to go for family walks together.

Kerry said...

tweeted: https://twitter.com/KerryBishop/status/668448321602789376
nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

eliza elliott said...

we spend time outside daily truckredford(at)Gmail(dot)com

eliza elliott said...

https://twitter.com/eliza_elliott/status/668447059599450113 truckrdford(at)gmail(dot)com

Angel Jacklyn said...

https://mobile.twitter.com/kytah00/status/669141236712779776 afjackly@oakland.edu

Angel Jacklyn said...

Let them play in school sports... They love it! Afjackly@oakland.edu

Tara said...

My boys play soccer! And we practice as a family.

Tara said...

tweet
https://twitter.com/3taratops/status/669333331012681728

MamaStace said...

Yes, I keep my kids active by making sure they get outside and play for at least an hour everyday (depending on weather) We have a lot to do in the back yard to keep them busy and moving!

Nathansmommy619(At)aol(dot)com

MamaStace said...

Tweeted https://twitter.com/StaceyRenee711/status/669392351228465152

Nathansmommy619(At)aol(dot)com

angie lilly said...

I don't have any children; however, if I did, they would be active. They would not be in front of the tv or their computers or phones. Those things would be for bad weather days or sick days or AFTER they had spent a good deal of time outside in nature.
Angie
14earth at gmail dot com

angie lilly said...

I tweeted here: https://twitter.com/MsTofuFairy/status/669520095568351232
Angie
14earth at gmail dot com

Betty C said...

My children are all adults now but I never had a problem keeping them active. They had one favorite after school TV program they watched and then they were outside meeting up with their friends. We were also a camping family and naturally that involved lots of hiking.

Betty C said...

Tweet - https://twitter.com/willitara/status/669593894795870210

Tarissa G said...

We take walks and bike rides together as a family. I believe this helps encourage everyone to exercise.
pixelberrypie at yahoo dot com

Tarissa G said...

Tweeted! https://twitter.com/pixel_berry_pie/status/669598844758261760

susan1215 said...

To help my kids stay healthy I limit the time my kids can spend with screens. We all talk walks to the park to play.

s2s2 at cox dot net

susan1215 said...

https://twitter.com/susan1215/status/669600822326505472

s2s2 at cox dot net

DeniseL said...

Ha! The question should be what does my kid do to keep me active :) He never stops moving and always wants a playmate (me) to play sports with him. I love it!
dmarie824 at aol dot com

DeniseL said...

tweeted - https://twitter.com/dmarie824/status/669611194286673921

Thomas Murphy said...

we go for bike rides.

rounder9834 @yahoo.com

Thomas Murphy said...

tweeted
https://twitter.com/thomasmurphy40/status/669760800014356480

rounder9834 @yahoo.com

Tabathia B said...

I like to take them to the park so we can go on nature walks

tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

Tabathia B said...

tweet https://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/669761320066162688

tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

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