Staying active often is on the minds of many parents and caregivers. Finding ways to carve out time for your own health, model the benefits of activity for your kids, bond with your partner or child while accomplishing a mutual goal, or maybe even try a new activity together are all important ways to get your daily activity in.
But anyone with kids today knows that this idea can be a lot more difficult to actually accomplish than it seems. Life feels like it never slows down, and we find ourselves waiting for the next hurdle, the next holiday, or school break, to start a new project. Factor in the kids’ activities, our own personal hobbies (if we even have time), down time (what’s that??), travel, time with extended family and all the other demands on our time. Finding time and energy to stay active with your family is not an easy task!
The key to making any new habit stick is to simplify. It can be so easy to invest in fancy exercise gear, sign up for expensive classes, or agree to involved plans, but the easiest and most effective way to tackle something is to keep it short and sweet. Ask your kiddo what their favorite song is and have an impromptu dance party in the kitchen with them! Chances are high that they know dance moves that go with the popular songs, and attempting to recreate them with your child can be a delightful opportunity to share a silly, active moment. The goal isn’t to be a good dancer, but to have fun, move more and increase your quality time together!
Committing to small things can feel less overwhelming and intense, making it more beginner-friendly. Can you sneak in a 5-10 minute bike ride with your child? Sometimes finding sunny breaks between rain showers can be just enough to get out, change your scenery and take in the fresh air. Or, the next time you take your child to a playground, join them on the swings! Even something as basic as playing hide and seek in your home can give you a chance to get up, put your duties aside for a set amount of time, and tap into your silly side!
Setting small fun goals can be an effective and fun way to increase your daily activity, not to mention creating extra quality time with the kids in your life. And being able to model the joy of fun and movement, done together, makes it more natural to do it again! Don’t be surprised if trying a few of these ideas gets your kids asking to do more fun activities with you!