Kids generally get a lot of opportunities to do sport and exercise in school, but not all of them take to the lessons on offer and some can actually wind up disliking physical education if they feel embarrassed or aren’t very good at the sports they try compared to their classmates. This is one of the reasons why it can be a great idea to do some sports activities as a family outside of school, where they can build confidence and learn to love being active with your support from a young age. Of course, doing this is also a great way for you to keep in shape too – as being a mom can make it hard to find time to exercise by yourself or go to the gym.
Here are four sports that can be great to do as a family, and which are suitable for kids of all different ages:
Swimming is one of the best forms of general exercise. It gets the whole body moving, provides resistance to help tone muscles, and is suitable for people of all different fitness levels and ages. Even if you are pregnant, you can enjoy swimming with your children, and swimming tends to be an activity that even kids who need to lose weight enjoy, because they don’t feel overheated, heavy or unfit in the water. It can be quite inexpensive to go to a public pool, and all you really need is a nice set of bathing suits for everyone – and of course, that means you get to buy yourself something nice and new like these gorgeous bathing suits from Becca swimwear that you can order online.
If you are not an exceptional swimmer, just having fun in the water and doing some gentle lengths can be fun, quality time with your kids, and you can teach young ones the basics before they start having proper lessons at school to get their technique right. If you are fairly good, you can coach them and help them get a head start!
Cycling has loads of benefits – not least giving you an environmentally friendly and cheap way to get around as a family, and giving your kids a way to get to friends’ houses and other places they want to go without you having to offer a taxi service or send them on the bus! As a family activity, though, riding bikes can be a great way to get fresh air and exercise and explore together while having fun, chatting and bonding, and can be something to do on weekend afternoons when the kids are bored and you don’t want to spend a lot of money!
Younger kids may need training wheels, but you can essentially go for rides as a family from quite a young age, starting with less challenging things like a ride around the park and moving on to more challenging trails as your kids grow in skill and confidence.
Dancing is fun no matter how good you are at it, and everyone enjoys listening to music they like. Whether you and your kids make up your own choreography and dance to songs they love or you use things like YouTube videos or dance video games like Dance Central or Just Dance for the Xbox Kinect to learn moves and routines, it is a great way to get a good cardio workout, improve coordination and balance, and enjoy yourselves. This is one of the cheapest things you can do as you only really need comfy dancing clothes and some space, and some music. You can even do it out in the back yard on sunny days!
Strength training can be a very important part of getting in shape for adults, but can also be fun and interesting for kids, who can enjoy learning the techniques and becoming stronger. Before puberty, kids don’t have the hormones to build a lot of muscle, so you won’t end up with scary, buff children, but they can grow their strength, confidence and technique and have fun doing this kind of ‘grown up’ exercise with you. Make sure you supervise them carefully and teach them proper techniques, however, so they don’t hurt themselves.
These are just four ways to have fun doing sport that benefits both you and your kids, and can create family hobbies you can all improve at with each other’s support.
Image of a family swimming courtesy of Shutterstock