Let’s Get Moving!
The importance of promoting lifelong activity in your family was on my mind as I was babysitting today. This is a big topic that has a lot of factors, but I am going to try to keep it surface level for the sake of simplicity.
I babysit for a 3-year-old girl who loves to play – like most of the kids I have interacted with. At some point, though, it seems like children reach a point when physical activity no longer becomes fun and the concept of getting a ‘workout’ or ‘exercise’ is undesirable. When does this happen? And does it have to? It’s pretty clear to see that some teenagers and adults continue to love moving their body through sports or other workouts into their older years. What sets these people apart from those who view movement as ‘work’ or as some of my training clients have even joked: ‘torture’?
If you aren’t sure which boat you fall into yet, think of the following phrase:
When it comes to the idea of working out, do you view it as something you ‘have to do’ or ‘get to do’?
Start Them Early!
From personal experience, I attribute a large amount of my love and enjoyment of physical activity to my parents and the activities and lifestyle they promoted early on in life. From those I have talked to, this seems like a common theme in others who tend to view exercise as something they ‘get to’ engage in. Growing up, we were at the volleyball courts at least once a month watching my mom play with her co-ed adult team. We were being pulled in the bike trailer until we could ride bikes of our own. We were on the boat watching my mom water-skiing and eagerly anticipating the day we were big enough to fit our feet into the child skis we had. Sports and movement were a part of our lives from an early age. Not only that, they were activities that were meaningful – we got to spend time together as a family.
This leads me to my next point:
Find a movement activity that you can enjoy as a family
This is the part that involves some work on your end. First, because it requires you to get up and move – a task that can be hard if you’re just starting out. Secondly, because it requires exploration and reflection. And getting back up and trying something else if the first activity you try does not work for you. Maybe your neighbor or sibling has found that their kids enjoy doing yoga together so you try it and it doesn’t work for your family. That is okay! Find something else and try that – maybe your family is more of a hiking family. Focus on finding the activity that is enjoyable and meaningful for you and your children.
Where to Start:
This can all be intimidating if you don’t have any ideas or knowledge on where to start so here are some ideas so you can start promoting lifelong activity in your family:
- Find a Frisbee or ball and play catch
- Find a family workout online*
- Go for a walk together
- Play a game of tag or chase