Enjoying quality family time has become even more important since the Covid-19 outbreak and working out together could be the perfect solution.
We’ve all heard the saying “The family that plays together stays together”, so it makes sense experts are encouraging parents to get kids involved when they exercise. It’s never too early to introduce healthy lifestyle choices, whether you leave the car at home and walk to school or enjoy a family cycle at the weekend – it all counts.
“Working out together as a family is one of the most beneficial things that you can do as it’s fun, it’s usually free and it tells your kids that exercise is a great way to spend their spare time,” Jemma Thomas, personal trainer and founder of the online fitness community for women, Jemmas Health Hub, told Cover Media.
Bicycles ready to ride – © pixabay/Hans CC0
“If they see you loving it and associate it with positives from the word go, they’re more likely to be fit and healthy later in life.”
Exercise may not be top of your list when it comes to enjoying free time but working out as a family has many benefits – both physically and mentally. Here are Jemma’s top tips for success:
1. Set rewards
Taking the kids to the park is such a fun and easy thing to do. Try setting them tasks like running around the park, playing hopscotch or skipping. If they manage to do all the tasks, allow them a certain amount of TV or gaming time if that’s what they like to do! Avoid making the reward about food or drink!
2. Find a hobby they enjoy
One of the most important things is to find a healthy hobby that they love. Ask them what they fancy giving a try and, within reason, let them! If they enjoy it encourage and support them to build up their confidence.
3. Find exercise friends
Perhaps there’s a family nearby with kids the same age. See if they would like to exercise together. This will motivate everyone and set a level of accountability where you can’t let the other family down. It’s also a good excuse for a coffee and a chat with the mum or dad after too!
4. Try yoga
Yoga is something you can do together at home or outside. There are some brilliant kids’ yoga companies who offer online videos. Not only are the moves great for the body but they’re also good at reducing childhood anxiety and encouraging kids to breathe and focus.
5. Don’t be competitive mum or dad!
It can be easy to want to your child to be the best but it’s all about them having fun with fitness. Support them, but don’t pressure them too much or it might backfire!