It’s funny, as we get older and have kids we often find less time to be active. We use kids as an excuse for our busyness with so many errands to run, lunches and dinners to cook, house maintenance jobs to be done, or we are simply too tired.
But what if we turned this around and used our kids as an excuse to get active. Not only for the health and longevity benefits, but as motivation to simply get outdoors.
There are so many benefits that come from using your kids to get active. The mental health benefits that come from “playing“, because you’ll typically take your own experience back to that of childhood.
Physical benefits that come from being active. Walking, running and being outside. The sunshine, and great outdoors.
Relationship benefits that come from interacting with your kids outside of the living-room environment. Laughing, playing and having fun together.
So if all of this sounds foreign to you, that’s okay. Sometimes life can be overwhelming with routine and we can forget how to simply have fun.
The good news is, it’s easy to get started again, or even for the first time… one step at a time.
Getting active with your kids need not include any formal professional sports or activities. Basically, anything you do outside is a great start to being more active.
Here are just a few ideas to get you started but this list is by no means a complete list. I’d encourage you to create your own family rituals.
Ball sports are a great way to get active with kids of all ages from toddler age right through to teenagers.
The other great thing about ball sports is that it’s basically free and has such a low cost of entry. Simply visit your local Kmart or Big W and grab a soccer or football for $5-10, find your nearest park or oval and that’s it!
You can take it further with portable goals and what not but this isn’t needed. Ball sports are a great way to forget your adult responsibilities and run and laugh with your kids.
Not quite as low cost as ball sports, cycling is still a great way to get active with your kids. I also believe it’s every child’s right to know how to ride a bike.
A skill that will stay with them for life and turn into a great sustainable habit too with the possibility to commute to work, or keep fit as an adult.
Whether you have young children that can’t quite ride a bike yet or older children that can, cycling is a great relaxing activity for all involved.
With the popularity of mobile phone games like Pokemon Go and Jurassic World Alive, geo-based games are a great free way to experience a virtual adventure with your kids.
The goal is to generally roam the streets looking for virtual objects on a mobile device to collect. The kids get right into these, collecting various characters and battling and upgrading.
Even if you don’t understand it or get into it as much as the kids, you can still be involved with supervision and the adventure of walking unknown routes with the only destination being a small virtual object on a screen.
Watersports such as kayaking are a great way to have an adventure with your kids. Although the cost to enter is slightly higher, it’s one that they’re sure to remember.
If the kids are younger you can get a 2.5-3 person kayak and take them with you, or if older you can all enjoy it as a family in solo kayaks.
There are some great calm rivers in most states to explore the mangroves and even have dolphins come right up and swim alongside you.
What better way to cool down on a hot Australian summer than to visit a water park or beach and hit the water.
You don’t need to sit on the sidelines and let the kids have all the fun either. Get in there and have some fun with them.
Remember, you don’t need to do laps to be active. Simply having fun, throwing them around or playing in the water is all movement and movement equals activity.
And Many More…
As I said at the start, this is just a small list and I’m sure there are infinite possibilities to being active with your kids.
Have a think about what interests you, and what interests them and see if you can create your own daily or weekly rituals.