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Children everywhere are mourning the end of summer (while most parents are breathing a sigh of relief!). The days of no homework and structure are over! Make the most of the remaining few weeks of summer by committing to exercise with your child! Did you know that exercise guidelines recommend that kids should do at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day? August 8-14 marks the official "Exercise with Your Child Week." This is a perfect time to start a healthy habit with your child before they go back to the daily grind of school.

 

Go Outside: This is the easiest way to begin exercising with your children! Step outside into your front or back yard - even hopscotch and jumping rope are great bone strengthening activities. You can play family games of kickball or basketball, or simply go on a walk, or bike, to your nearest park! When I was growing up, the whole family would take the dog for a long after dinner stroll. This is a great time for the family to do a little bonding and burn calories at the same time! Find outdoor events, trails and parks near you with the Let's Move government website.

 

Play Sports: Volunteer to coach your child on an organized sports team! Or, if an organized sport does not interest your children, encourage them to participate in an individual sport. There are many different individual sports (swimming, gymnastics, wrestling, tennis, golf, martial arts, track and field and dance), that you could practice for together!

 

Finding a team should be easy! There are many youth sport programs supported by your Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR), local YMCA, through your city, a private association, or a church in your area.

 

Play Inside: There is a rainy day here and there that doesn't allow you to so easily get outside for a walk! Why not play a game of twister, or clear an area for hula hoping (sure to cause a lot of laughter if Dad tries this one!). Bust a move to some of your favorite music and have a dance party. Throw on some silly costumes as you dance to make it memorable and no one will realize they just spent an hour doing a cardiovascular activity! This site has a great list of lots of fun indoor physical activities!

 

Make it a goal to help your children create a positive attitude towards exercise! The focus should be on enjoying and participating in fun activities (bowling, hiking swimming etc) more than the actual health benefits (children care more about just having a good time).

 

I hope this has inspired you to start exercising with your children! Please share how you are, or plan to be, exercising with you children in the comment section.

 

Additional Resources:

The Presidents Challenge is a program designed to help improve anyone's activity level - young or old Sign up for one of the challenges with your children and you can encourage and cheer each other along!

Free printable wristbands to award to active children