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.
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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