By Sarah Kaufman, The Manilla Blog
We all want active and healthy kids, but exercise can be expensive. Sports teams cost money, plus after-school carpool schedules sure don’t fit the schedule of working parents. It’s important for kids to stay active and learn the value of exercise — but what if you don’t have that kind of time or money?
I’m here to offer five simple ways that you can get your kids engaged in physical activity for free (or nearly free).
1. Make moving part of your routine.
If you live in a neighborhood that has sidewalks and safe streets, walk or cycle to your neighborhood playdates instead of taking the car. You’ll have to practice what you preach, so why not invite the kids along the next time you walk the dog? It’s good exercise and good bonding time. Make small decisions to be active – like not stressing about that parking spot that’s a little farther away. Your entire family will feel good in the short-term, plus you’ll be role modeling good exercise habits and teaching your kids important habits for long-term health.
2. Make exercise your bonding time.
Sometimes we don’t have time to exercise because we’re too busy taking care of the kids. So just take the kids with you the next time you workout. For example, not long ago, a friend of mine took up jujutsu, a Japanese martial art. He joined a jujutsu gym and started taking his 3-year-old son to class every Saturday. It’s now been their Saturday tradition for more than a year — it’s great exercise and it’s a wonderful way to spend the morning together.
If you’re not the jujutsu type (let’s face it: I’m not!) you can also bond with your kids by taking them on your morning run, playing sports as a family or going for a few rounds of miniature golf instead of the movies as a treat. Continue reading