Last week, we related the importance of parents getting their children involved in physical fitness and keeping that kind of activity going as long as possible. At that time, we stressed how parents can encourage their children to head outside rather than play videogames for all hours of the day and how parents themselves can get involved in these activities.
If you’re intent on sticking to this kind of a family fitness plan, then there are certain activities that might be a little more appealing than others. About a month ago, the Washington Post ran a column that looked at the types of physical activities a family can engage in together, and you should keep these in mind, trying a couple of different things to figure out what each family members enjoys the most.
Hiking is something that the entire family can take part in without much practice or experience, and if you strive to do this when your children are young, they could be more inclined to carry on later in their lives.
Of course, getting a child to engage in protracted hiking takes a little getting used to. While an adult may be able to walk with a large backpack for hours on end, a child may wear themselves out early or require more sustenance than you. There’s also a risk that they’ll get bored with no videogames or other kinds of stimuli to distract them.
Make sure you’ve brought plenty of food and water and that your children know to stick to the trails so that an injury doesn’t occur. Also think ahead to some of the things that they might be able to keep occupied with. There might be activity books that offer a number of games that your children can play around the route, and you yourself can be more active in pointing things out around the trail.
If you’re worried about attention span, then something like rock climbing might be a preferable alternative, as that requires a child to always be paying attention to what they’re doing. See what kinds of services are offered at local activity centers in your area and then ask your child if that’s something he or she would be interested in. If they like the experience at the gym, you could then look into what kinds of outdoor climbing opportunities are offered near your home.
There are more types of fitness you could get your family involved in, including biking, running, and even yoga. By encouraging this type of fitness early, you can help your children overcome various orthopedic injuries and inactivity-related damage for a long time to come.
ARTICLE CATEGORIES: Patient Education