Exercise for Kids. Something I have avoided talking about. Why? Because I knew the Wee Child just didn't like it any more than I did. I really just don't enjoy exercise. Hot. Sweaty. It hurts. It's not my thing. I struggle to do it, let alone enjoy it. Sadly, that poor attitude toward it has rubbed off on my son. He hates to exercise. So, how do you encourage healthy habits and exercise for kids when you don't like it yourself? Well, our sponsor for this post, BODYARMOR, helped me come up with some great tips for exercise for kids to help get them motivated!
Exercise for Kids | How to Encourage Healthy Habits
Since moving to Michigan, a lot of my excuses for exercise have disappeared. While we do have summer months that get warm here, we don't have 9 months of heat that keep you indoors like in the South. Instead, we have 2-3 months of warm temperatures and 9 months of colder temperatures. That means, we can easily get outside and explore outside. This has helped us to overcome that pesky issue.
Invest in new supplies. One thing that helped us with the Wee Child the most, was going ahead and updating his bicycle. He had grudgingly ridden his bike around the neighborhood a few times when we moved here, but really just wasn't enthusiastic about it. We realized that it wasn't a good fit. He had grown up, so for him to really use the bicycle, he had to have a new one. In rode a brand new, fitted to his body, bicycle. Let's just say, the rest is history.
Take them to a new sports event. Another option we found a few years ago that really helped was taking our son to a few sporting events to see things first hand. Since basketball is a popular exercise for kids, and often free to play at home or in the neighborhood, we tried that first. He loved the Harlem Globetrotters experience, so we encouraged that at home. Last fall, we enrolled him in a local YMCA program that was only a few dollars a month. He learned to love shooting hoops with his friends. The result was he now grabs his basketball on a regular basis and heads outside to practice with the neighborhood guys.
Get out and exercise with them. This one has been hard for me, but it really does work. There is nothing the Wee Child loves more than when I actually put my shoes on and go outside with him. He hops on his bicycle and rides circles around me while I walk. We are currently renting in a lovely little neighborhood that has great flat streets that make walking easy for me as I build up strength. He rides back and forth, while I work on a slow steady pace.
Keep them hydrated. In summer, it gets hot and when they feel yucky that can be discouraging. Keeping your kids hydrated is really important. This year we discovered BODYARMOR while traveling and out and about at a theme park and fell in love, so when they asked me to share, it was an obvious yes. This electrolyte SuperDrink™ is a wonderful option that kids, especially, will love having as an option to drink to help stay hydrated. BODYARMOR is a premium sports drink that includes coconut water and vitamins. Since it has no artificial flavors or sweeteners, I don't feel bad about letting the Wee Child drink it on a regular basis as he plays. Plus, we love coconut water and love that this is high in potassium but low in sodium.
This isn't a drink for just everyday drink replacement, but for use when you are out exercising or losing water from sweating. It's ideal for when kids are at sporting events, workouts, bicycling, or at a theme park all day in the hot summer sun.
We received a case of BODYARMOR to try recently, but we had already been drinking this regularly. It comes in 9 fruit flavors, but our favorites are Fruit Punch and Orange Mango. You can check out your local Sam's Club for the large packs (on sale through July 16th, 2017 for $12.98) that include Fruit Punch, Orange Mango, and Strawberry Banana. You may also see them in Tropical Punch, Blackout Berry, Mixed Berry, Grape, Watermelon, Strawberry, and Lemonade. The only flavor I haven't tried is Mixed Berry, and I can say so far every flavor has been great and leaves no aftertaste. That has always been a reason I didn't like potassium-packed electrolytes in the past. BODYARMOR is our new favorite.
Get creative with exercise for kids ideas. Think outside the box. So far, I have shared some basic tips, but maybe exercise needs to be nontraditional for your child. We often think about those basic sports or exercise options that are included in school sporting programs, but not every child will enjoy those things. Consider your child may enjoy something other kids don't when it comes to exercise. Below are some great ideas that may suit their personality better that are also commonly available in your community.
- TaeKwando, Karate, or Martial Arts
- Acrobatics/Tight Rope
- Yoga for Kids
- Crossfit for Kids
- Rowing or Kayaking
- LaCrosse or Polo
- Water Polo
- Rock Climbing
- Mountain Biking
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As you can see, there are tons of options out there for exercise for kids. As a parent, you want your child to be healthy. In my case, I truly want my son to be healthier than I am, and to learn healthy habits now so he doesn't have to struggle with the health issues I have as an adult. It is so important to me to provide him with the tools to be a healthy adult. That includes encouraging natural healthy habits and giving him healthier options on a daily basis.