Getting your kids to exercise often means fighting an uphill battle. Most of the time they’d rather be inside on the computer than outside moving about. The best way of getting them to be active is to find an activity that they’ll enjoy doing. Don’t forget about yourself, either, it’s just as important for you to get a good amount of exercise, especially as you get older.
Exercise is the best way to combat any of the health complaints that come with age, so it’s vital that the whole family gets outside and does some exercise on a regular basis. As well as getting exercise, sports teach your kids a lot of good values. They will learn the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship, which will stand them in good stead later on in life. You can have great quality time together by playing some sports. Here are some of the best sports for you to do as a family:
Baseball: Baseball is a good one to play when you first start exercising because you’ll get a lot of rests between bursts of energy. You can play at the local park with fairly limited equipment. As long as you have a bat and a ball, you can use pretty much anything to mark out the bases. Alternatively, if you don’t have a local park nearby and there isn’t space in the garden for a full game, you can just practice your throwing and catching skills. Baseball is a great sport for the family, which helps you get some good cardiovascular exercise as well as improving your hand eye coordination skills.
Golf: People don’t always consider golf when they’re thinking of sports that are good for exercise, but you’d be surprised by how many calories you could burn on the course. You won’t be running up and down all day but you’ll be doing a fair bit of walking so it’s still going to get your heart going. If you’re going to play a family game of golf, you need to get all of the right equipment. A good set of clubs is vital, otherwise you’ll find yourself stuck in a bunker all day. Look for the most forgiving golf clubs, they’re perfect for beginners and they’ll help you to avoid missing all of your shots. If you get a bad set of clubs and it’s difficult for the kids to make any good shots, they’ll soon get frustrated and give up (Me.).
Before you go, check the rules at your local course because a lot of them have specific dress codes and they won’t let you play if you don’t have the right attire. Golf is a good choice when the weather is particularly hot and you still want to get some exercise without doing anything too intense. Like baseball, it’s a good way to teach your kids good coordination skills and it’s also a good opportunity to help them see the countryside a little more.
Swimming: On those boiling hot summer days, the whole family can cool off in the swimming pool. It’s a brilliant way to beat the heat and it’s one of the best ways to exercise there is. When you swim, you exercise every single muscle in your body and get your heart pumping at the same time. It’s great for heart health, lung capacity, and general muscle strength. The cool water also means that you can sustain that exercise for much longer than you’d normally be able to. As well as being good exercise, swimming is an important skill for children to learn for safety so it should definitely be a part of your summer exercise routine.
Volleyball: When summer comes, there’s no better way to spend time with the family than down at the beach. You could spend all day sunbathing but that won’t keep you and the family healthy. A great sport that you can play at the beach is volleyball. It’s a very active sport that’s great for cardio in short bursts. Short bursts of energy, with small breaks in between, is one of the most effective ways to exercise and helps you to keep a healthy heart. You can get yourself a net if you’re serious about your game but a line in the sand will do just as well.
Quidditch: Quidditch started as a fictional game in the Harry Potter series but since then, fans have developed it into a real game. It’s not quite the same as in the books and movies, of course, but the basic rules and play are the same. It’s a great way of getting some exercise and the kids are sure to love it. To play a proper game, you’ll need quite a few people and lots of different balls so this is one that you could perhaps play with a few other families in the park. There are plenty of different positions to be played so by switching everybody around, you can keep everybody interested in playing for a long time. If you get really into your game, there are teams and leagues that you could consider joining.
Insect Soccer: Although the name might suggest it, insect soccer isn’t a game of soccer played by ants. It’s a variation on a normal game of soccer that’ll make it much more fun for the kids. Group everybody into twos and threes depending on how many players you’ve got, and get each group to link arms, these are the insects. Each team plays against each other until one scores a goal, and they have to stay linked at all times otherwise they lose the round. This is the perfect game to play with the kids because it has all of the exercise benefits of a normal soccer game but it also teaches valuable teamwork and cooperation skills.
Basketball: When the good weather goes away, it can be easy to fall into bad habits and your exercise regime can fall by the wayside. One of the best indoor sports to play in winter is basketball. There should be a local indoor court that you can use but you’ll probably need to hire it out so check beforehand. Basketball is a good team sport for kids to play and it’ll massively improve their ball skills. If they enjoy it, you can carry on into the summer on a free outdoor court.
Summer time is all about going out and getting active – and what better way to do that than as a family?!