I almost missed the boat. Almost, but not quite. My kids might been teens, but they still live at home and I get to make the rules! One of my
rules goals for 2018 is that I need to move more, so they will be moving more, too! For more than just the obvious reasons.
Exercising together creates a bond, especially as your kids get into the more difficult confusing teenage years. It teaches the importance of exerting effort onto your body so you can perform at the things you want to do while it improves your cognitive/brain power skills as well. Exercising together helps lighten the mood and helps us to be more playful and light. Because there is nothing funnier than watching Mom get into a Downward Dog, right? Working out together creates easier ways to communicate together and share vulnerabilities, which enhance our connections to each other and provide emotional safety to our children. I've had some of my best conversations with my kids on long walks. There is something about being a few miles out on a walk to open up conversations.
One of the most important life skills our children can learn from exercising together is how important resilience and grit are strengthened and the experience and benefits of hard work; goal setting and goal accomplishment are to happiness. Jane Damond of Jane Diamond Wellness says:
There are great ways to incorporate physical activity into your kid’s routine. Plan family walks, runs or football and basketball games after diner. Kids enjoy companionship and friendly challenges.
Don't let weather effect you; family time can be fun time! Indoor rock climbing, skating, boxing, or swimming classes; find activities that are age appropriate. Let your kids pick the activity and allow them to invite a friend for additional participation and motivation.
Fitness challenges to support a cause are becoming more and more popular for our teens and provide feelings of gratitude and empathy that they can participate in an event to help others.
I can tell you that one of the most impactful things my daughter and I did together was a Color Run. Neither one of us was able to run, but we were able to walk, and it was incredible!
There are amazingly fun, easy and challenging family physical activities that are appropriate for all different age levels.
Family touch football games or catches, basketball and relay races can be played at almost any age. As parents, we can create competition and also tie the exercise into initial rewards for their hard work.
As a family, along with some of my son’s friends we play a weekly broom ball game, which is incredibly active, competitive and fun! This also gives me an opportunity to meet the people in my son’s social circle.
Low cost terrific family activities include musical chairs, stop dance, hula-hoops, relay races, family rock band, wall ball, sock gliding exercises and competitive minute to win it games.
Any of these games can be made into competitions and goal setting wins. Have your family notice how much more energized and focused they feel. Also, I find dance offs with the parents are a GREAT source of fun! Physically active kids who regularly exercise improve memory and thinking skills.
It is very important to make sure you schedule your activities regularly and consistently. Is going to be a goal for me this year so that it becomes a habit. Habits are quick to learn and hopefully they become a tradition for our family- our lunchtime walks and Friday Night Dance offs. Both of them will keep our families healthier- both physically and emotionally.