Anyone with a young child can be witness to the fact that kids just don’t like to sit still. The world is their oyster, and they are constantly exploring, playing, and finding out new ways to bug you. Whether it be screaming singing at the tops of their lungs, dancing to Dora the Explorer, or playing their new ‘drum set’ in the kitchen, kids always seem to be on the move.
Watching all this can be exhausting itself! But I believe children have shown us why we have become such a sedentary society; we just stopped moving. For kids, movement is their life. They don’t think their going to the park to ‘exercise’! They just want to play and have fun!
Adults should learn to adopt this mindset that movement is fun instead of something you have to slog through. Maintaining motivation to exercise can be difficult, but if you look forward to the activity, you will be much more likely to do it! Let’s take a look at some of the fun ways kids stay fit, and how you can enjoy them too!
1. Skipping Rope
Kids seem to be able to do this for hours on end. But they have a secret. When they get tired, they stop for a minute, catch their breath, then keep going. We call it interval training, but to a kid it’s just common sense.
Fit fun for adults: Grab your iPod, and select your favourite playlist. Make it a goal to jump rope for all the chorus lines in each song. If you’ve got kids, grab your ropes and have a jump together. I’m sure they’d be willing to show you some new moves!
2. Ride your bike/rollerblade/skateboard
As a kid I lived on my bike. My brother and I would build jumps out of the wood chips in our front lawn, and run a muck.
Fit fun for adults: If your bike is collecting dust in your garage, why not clean it up and take a scenic Sunday ride with the family. Go to the local park or ride along the beachfront if you live near a coastal area. Flying solo? Why not search for a cycling group in your area to join.
3. Jump on the trampoline
This is a great whole body workout, not that kids care about that kind of thing. Just make sure the trampoline can safely take the weight of everyone on it.
Fit fun for adults: Have a competition to see who can jump the highest, or do the best trick.
4. Play tag/chase
There are a million different versions of tag, and kids never seem to get tired of any of them.
Fit fun for adults: Go to your local park and have a run around playing your favourite version of tag. No kids? Grab some friends and do the same.
5. Play Twister
If you think this game is just for younglings think again! This game will test flexibility, muscle endurance, and is bound to create a few laughs.
Fit fun for adults: Grab friends or family and get stuck in. Play a few rounds, taking turns to be the spinner.
While Dora the Explorer may get your 5 year old in the mood to groove, it probably sends you running for the ear plugs. But that’s what MTV and video hits are for.
Fit fun for adults: Next time you are feeling stressed out, blast your favourite tune as loud as you can and dance!!! I guarantee it will change you mood instantly.
7. Play a team sport
Kids learn good sportsmanship, but also have a chance to make friends. Going to a gym can be socially isolating, and boring at times, so why not break out of the mould!
Fit fun for adults: Call your local council to find out about group sports in your area. There are usually teams for all age groups and abilities. Sports not your thing? Why not give outdoor boot camp a go. A great way to meet like minded people and get fit and the same time.
8. Take a splash at your local pool
Whether it be taking swimming lessons, relaxing on a floaty, or diving for deep sea treasure (those glow sticks that sink), the pool can be a great place to have fun!
Fit fun for adults: Never learned how to swim? Call up your local pool and ask about lessons to brush up on your skills. Or maybe you’re a seasoned pro? Ask if there are any swim groups for you ability and join up for some extra motivation.
As you can see there are many different ways to stay fit. Being active doesn’t have to be boring! So next time you are feeling a little ho-hum about your visits to the gym, why not break out of the mould? Be a kid and play your way to a fitter body!
- What was your favourite childhood activity or sport?
- How do you keep your fitness routine fun and exciting?